Gardening jobs for May
Mow the lawn
The grass will be growing strongly as the weather warms up.
- Cut the lawn once a week, as most mowers struggle to cut grass if it gets too long.
- A quick trick to get it looking smart if you don't have time to mow is to cut the lawn edges - using one of our .
Plant summer bedding
Tender summer-bedding plants, such as petunias and marigolds, should be safe to plant outside in many parts of the country from mid-May onwards, once the danger of frost has passed.
- When buying plants, look for ones that are green and bushy with plenty of flower buds, rather than open blooms.
- Dig over the ground before you plant, removing any weeds.
- Give the bedding plants a thorough soak with water and then plant them at the distance recommended on the label or seed packet.
- Keep an eye on the weather and cover with fleece if frost is forecast.
It's not just the plants you want that thrive at this time of year - weeds will be growing strongly, too.
- Catch weeds while they're small by hoeing borders and the veg garden once a week.
- Paths, drives and patios can be kept weed-free by spraying with a path weedkiller. Many of these prevent weeds returning for several months after they are applied.
- Perennial weeds, such as dandelions, have roots that will regrow if you just kill the leaves. They will eventually weaken over time if you hoe them off, or you could try to dig out the roots. Alternatively, spray them with a weedkiller containing .
Veg jobs for May
May is a funny month, when winter crops and stored veg have all been eaten but very few of this year's crops are ready. There's plenty you can do now for tasty veg to harvest this year.
- Cover the emerging shoots of potatoes with soil. Doing this helps to prevent light reaching the tubers. If they're exposed to light, they turn green because of an increase in chlorophyll, which makes them have a high level of glycoalkaloids toxins.
- Make the most of the space in your veg garden by sowing quick-growing crops, such as salads, between longer-term residents, such as brassicas, while they're establishing.
Cut evergreen hedges
May is a good time to trim evergreen hedges, such as lonicera, box and yew; it will get their edges looking crisp and neat.
- Small hedges can be trimmed with shears.
- Larger hedges are best tackled with a hedge trimmer.
- It is illegal to disturb nesting birds, so be sure to check the hedges for signs of nests before you start the job.