Garden Tasks for May

Beautiful Hellebores or winter roses (above)

Flowers and shrubs

- Plant out winter flowering annuals now for great colour through the winter months. Try cyclamen, bellis, flowering kale, violas, lupins, dianthus, calendulas, alyssum, stock, hellebores (winter roses), snap dragons, wildflowers, leucadendron

- Now is also a good time to plant up winter hanging baskets and pots. Potted colour varieties to look for this month include pansies, primulas, polyanthus, and cineraria. Daphnes grow well in pots and containers and their fragrance is incredible - try them in pots on your deck or by the front door

- It’s the last opportunity to plant spring bulbs before the soil gets too cold

- If you’re thinking of planting a hedge on your property, now is the time to plant new hedges and shelter. Corokia, griselinia, pittosporum, buxus, and photinia all make attractive, low maintenance hedges in the home garden. Make sure to give existing hedges a final trim and tidy up before winter

- Autumn is the right time for planting shrubs in your garden too. Make sure you leave enough room for them to spread out - don’t be tempted to plant them too close together
The image above shows a great way to keep all your herbs tidy and accessible.

Vegetables and fruit

- May is the time to plant cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, broad beans, carrots, onions, radishes, spinach, turnips, winter herbs such as coriander, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

- Plant strawberries. Strawberries like good fertile soil so dig in lots of top quality compost before planting, then top with a handful of general fertiliser and give them a good water

- Prune back fruit trees once fruiting is finished for the season. See our post on pruning fruit trees for a general guide.

You don't want earwigs in your garden!

Pests and general tasks

- Earwigs are out and about in the garden at the moment, so use something such as Yates Nature’s Way Pyrethrum to get rid of them, or alternatively make earwig traps with rolled up newspaper or empty, oily tuna tins

- Provide shelter for frost-tender seedlings or plants. Frost cloth is a popular choice, but there are other options: recycled curtain netting, which can be doubled over if needed; plastic bottles can cover smaller plants or seedlings; the night before a frost use plastic supermarket bags; a few sheets of newspaper will keep frost from damaging your plants; plastic bubble wrap is great too

- Spray lawns with Yates Turfix to control broadleaf weeds, and Yates Surrender to get rid of moss. Be sure to fertilise lawns so they’ll be strong and healthy when the cold comes a calling

- Add thick layers of mulch to garden beds and pots to conserve water and reduce weeds over winter. As the mulch rots down it adds nutrients to the soil. Mulching also keeps your garden looking tidy

- Move tender plants in containers up against the house to provide protection from cold temperatures

- Rake up leaves on the grass so they don’t weaken the lawn, then use as mulch on flower beds, or add them to the compost bin if you have one.


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