Gardening Tips for May | Summer Garden

Gardening tips for May, Woolpit Nurseries

Summer’s on its way! Gardening tips for May with herbaceous borders growing and planting out bedding begins

Summer is on its way and now’s the time to tidy up spring plants, and plant out summer flowering plants. There are plenty of flowers and vegetables to sow and grow in May.

In the Greenhouse

Greenhouse gardening tips for May.

  • Water tomatoes and peppers everyday and feed at regular intervals, with a high potash feed.
  • Plant cucumbers at the end of May – to avoid cold/wet compost conditions which can kill the plants.
  • Sow sweetcorn, French beans and runner beans; but only plant out after the danger of frost.
  • Hanging baskets and containers can be made up now, but keep them in the greenhouse until weather conditions improve. Wind can do more damage than frost! The larger the basket, the better the end result. Always use high quality all peat compost – such as the Levington M2 Professional.
    Geraniums will give the best show in a sunny spot whether in a basket of as a bedding plant. Pendular begonias, petunias and fuchsias prefer shelter and some shade. The most reliable basket plant is the single continental balcony type of geranium, especially in a long hot summer.

In the Vegetable Garden

  • Plant out those beans, sweetcorn and courgettes. A wigwam made up of 4 x 8ft canes is probably the best runner bean support to avoid wind damage.
  • May is a good time to set out Brussels sprouts and leeks for harvesting in early Winter.
  • Also, this is the best month for sowing main crop carrots, to protect them from carrot fly cover with fleece.
  • Keep earthing up the potatoes, check the earlies, as this excellent Spring could give you a lifting before the end of May.
Gardening tips for May, Woolpit Nurseries

In the Flower Garden

  • Pull out spring bedding plants that are now past their best. Then fork in a plant feed dressing of “Growmore” fertiliser before setting out the summer garden bedding plants.
  • With the demise of “Bizzie Lizzie” due to the mildew problem, a good alternative for the shady border or container is the New Guinea type of Impatiens, which are free from the disease. For an outstanding summer bedding plant, do not forget the small-flowered Begonia Semperflorens. It is very tough, needs no deadheading – also rabbits and deer do not eat them.
  • Keep watering all plants until they are well established.
  • Herbaceous perennial plants need support and deadheading where necessary.
  • Dahlias can be planted to fill in the gaps, giving flowers until late into the summer.
  • Spring and early summer flowering shrubs should be pruned just as the flowers fade.
  • Water your planted hanging baskets and plants in containers every day. REMEMBER that rain does nothing for baskets and wind dries, just as much as the sun. Feed twice a week, to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • A useful tip when going away on holiday, is to stand baskets in buckets against a north-facing wall. If your neighbour forgets to water for one of two days, you should still have live hanging baskets when you return from your time away.

If you require any more advice, gardening tips for May, or want to see our large selection of spring and summer bedding plants, then please come and visit the nursery we are open every day 9 am until 6 pm. Or you can contact us through the form on our website at

Happy gardening from all the team at Woolpit Nurseries

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