Jo’s Garden Corner – May
Beware treacherous late frosts and keep vulnerable plants and new shoots protected at night if frost is forecast. Don’t be tempted to put out tender bedding until the middle of the month and even then be prepared to cover it if necessary. Continue with the spring cleaning. Hoe your borders to get rid of weeds before they take hold – annual weeds such as bitter cress and groundsel are enough of a nightmare without allowing them to go forth and multiply by seeding. Dandelions are a nuisance at this time of year – if you don’t have time to deal with them terminally, at least chop their heads off before they set seed. Water is a precious commodity – instigate good practices such as using kitchen and bath water (as long as it is neither too dirty, greasy nor full of detergent) for watering, collect rainwater and investigate ways to recycle water for your irrigation. Automatic watering systems are economical with water, as well as convenient! The trick with watering is to water thoroughly once or twice a week rather than little and often although containers do need watering every day. Mulch away while you can still see what you are doing and before the herbaceous growth really takes off. Use your own garden compost or leaf mould, well rotted manure, the contents of out-of-date grow bags or ready-made soil conditioner. Carry on removing moss and weeds from paths, terraces and drives and keep an eye out for pests around the garden.