Action for May Top jobs
Top three jobs in May
Get your lawn shipshape
Grass will be growing rapidly and strongly now, and a weekly cut is essential to keep it looking neat. See our lawnmower reviews for the latest Best Buy models.
If your lawn is looking sickly or is full of weeds, apply a weed and feed. Reseed any bare patches.
Use lawn clippings to mulch borders after weeding to suppress weeds and conserve moisture.
Finish sowing a new lawn before the weather gets too hot.
Harden off plants
Plants raised indoors must be acclimatised to colder temperatures before they’re planted outside.
For a week, take the plants out of the greenhouse during the day and bring them inside at night.
Then leave them outside at night too, but cover with horticultural fleece or put them in a cold frame with the lid closed.
This should also be done for about a week. Your plants will then be ‘hardened off’ and can be planted out in the garden.
If there’s a chance of frost after your new plants have been planted out, cover them with fleece.
Also keep some fleece handy to protect Japanese maples, hydrangeas, fruit blossom and tender vegetables including potatoes.
See our factsheet for more information
Deal with weeds
Hoe between plants in your borders on dry, sunny days. Hoeing means you can weed a lot of ground quickly, and if you do it little and often, it means annual weeds won’t have the opportunity to establish.
Aim to skim just below the soil surface when you’re hoeing as this will sever the tops of weeds cleanly from the roots.
Don’t hoe too deep or weeds may survive intact and it doesn’t take much for them to be able to reroot.
Perennial weeds will resprout from the root, but regular hoeing will wear down most of them.
Most of our advice applies wherever you live, but sometimes regional variations alter timing by several weeks. There will also be local variations.
If you're new to gardening and unsure of what to do when, ask fellow gardeners and neighbours. Always be guided by the weather and soil conditions - never garden by the calendar alone.