May is definitely the month we start to dream of summer and we can make a proper start to jobs in the garden, it's time to get started!
Here are our top 5 jobs...
Prune overcrowded, dead or diseased stems of Clematis montana once it has finished flowering. Untangling the stems can be fiddly, but once you can see where you are cutting, you need not worry about pruning this plant, it will take even hard cutting back very well. Remove any reverted green shoots on hardy variegated evergreens, to prevent reversion taking over.
Evergreens such as Viburnum Tinus and Skimmia Rubella can be clipped this month, prune out frost damage from other affected evergreen shrubs. If not too woody, shredded clippings can be added to the compost heap, ideally in combination with soft material such as grass clippings. Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as Choisya and Ribesafter flowering.
Cut back tender shrubs and sub-shrubs such as Penstemon, Caryopteris and Fuchsia after the danger of frost has passed.
Prune wall-trained Pyracanthas, removing any shoots coming out from the wall, and shortening other new growth to about 8cm (3in). This encourages spur formation, and increased flowering relative to green growth.
Warmer weather means… Mowing the lawn! For the first mow, be sure to keep your blades set at maximum height, after that lower the blades down and cut it regularly, around once a week. Remember to remove any dead foliage beforehand. Ensure new lawns (either from turf or seed) do not dry out during dry spells. Providing the weather stays nice, now is also a great time to apply some fertiliser and weed-killer to make sure your lawn is as healthy as possible come June. Add any clippings to the compost heap and keep the edges trimmed.
And finally... Don't forget to clean your tools!
Taking some time to clean, sharpen and oil your tools will make your summer planting that little bit easier and prevent the spread of disease amongst your plants. And, as gardening tools are not exactly cheap to replace, you want to get as much use out of them as possible before they head to the bin. View our full range of premium Five Acres garden tools.
Read our blog post on spring clean your garden tools here.