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A busy, magical month

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Daniel Hoggins, Posted: Friday, 26th April 2024, 09:00

May is simply the most magical month in the garden. Borders are filled with a froth of flowers, the trees dance green again with new leaves, and everywhere the air is filled with the toing and froing of insects and birds. May is busy, everywhere, with life.

It also has no shortage of jobs to keep you busy in the garden. With the reduced risk of frosts, it is now time to plant out those tender dahlias and cannas. Annuals such as sweet peas, sunflowers and cosmos can also be hardened off and planted out.

Extend the flowering period for perennials

All the perennials should be growing well by now and it is a good idea to fix supports around plants before they need them, so that they can grow into them and look more natural. Another method for reducing their legginess and extending the flowering period for certain late flowering perennials such as aster, nepeta and achillea is to give them the Chelsea Chop. It seems brutal, but if these plants are chopped around halfway up this year’s growth, they will put out more side shoots, and flower more compactly and a little later.

Ensure potatoes aren’t exposed to any light

It is a great time to earth up your potatoes. As the shoots grow, simply mound soil around the new growth to help protect the stems and ensure the potatoes aren’t exposed to any light while they’re growing, as this will turn them green.

It is also an ideal time to plant out your bedding display – primroses can be moved, divided and replanted and the new summer displays can go in. These bedding plants look great in borders as well as containers. Tobacco plants, antirrhinums and zinnias all do well in filling up any spaces around the garden.

With all the jobs to do in the garden this month it is no bad thing that No Mow May has grown in popularity. Not only can this save you a job and lighten your workload, but it can be really rewarding to relinquish some control and allow your lawn to shift from that tame patch of green into a sprawling and crawling mass of flowers and wildlife.

Compromise is key

But as with all things, compromise is key and everyone must draw their own lines on just how much control they’re willing to let go of. It will be different for every person and every garden – just because it’s No Mow May, it doesn’t mean you can’t take the mower for a spin around the edges of your borders to allow them to retain their integrity.

Whether you leave your whole lawn to grow or allocate a small patch, you can allow the wilderness in on your own terms. In this instance, you can have your cake and eat it.

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