May Gardening Tips 2024 - Squires Garden Centres

May Gardening Tips 2024

I remember writing last month that I was hoping for some sunnier and drier weather in April. Well, that proved to be something of a forlorn hope. But never mind, surely there must be some warmer and brighter weather in store for us in May, so we can really enjoy the sights, scents, tastes and movement that plants deliver in spades through the coming warmer months.

There has certainly been some weather damage in my garden over the winter. Some of which is only just starting to show now. Even a lovely white Lilac I am particularly fond of is showing some patchy areas of dieback with blackened leaves and buds. In this case, I think it may have been caused by some very chilly north winds in winter but has only become apparent as fresh lush green growth has started to appear around the blackened patches. In addition, I think some of my perennials are failing to show up because they have literally drowned in the waterlogged soil.

Looking on the bright side this does give me the chance to fill in some gaps with some new plants. Any excuse to go plant shopping! especially at this time of year when lovely fresh new stock is arriving in the garden centres all the time. Roses, climbers and all sorts of trees, shrubs and cottage garden plants are ready and waiting to fill any gaps you may have and give you long-term structure, height and colour.

With the ground as wet as it is the planting season may extend somewhat this year and I would be confident in planting some larger plants too, provided they are watered well during the summer. Rhododendrons and Azaleas are looking fantastic right now as are Acers, many of which also promise some lovely autumn colour.

But above all, May is the time to think about planting up borders, containers and hanging baskets with bright bedding plants that will flower all the way through the summer until the first frosts. When you think of the length of their flowering season, they represent really good value. Regular feeding and deadheading will encourage even more prolific flowering. And you can choose everything from a soothing pastel palate to a riot of colour.

Many bedding plants like a sunny spot such as Geraniums and Osteospermum, but some will thrive in partial shade such as Busy Lizzies and Begonias. These plants are tender so they will need protecting until the danger of frost is over, usually mid-May in the South East. When planting up containers do remove all, or at least some, of the used compost and replace to avoid the build-up of pests and diseases.

Of course, there is also a lot of excitement to be had growing vegetables too. Seeds can be sown direct into the soil or some, such as squash, marrows, beans, pumpkins and courgettes can be started off in little pots on a windowsill to really get them growing fast before planting outside. Alternatively, you can buy young vegetable plants. Potatoes will definitely need earthing up as they grow. A little later in the month tomatoes can be planted outside with peppers, chillies and salad crops.

Weeding may seem like a chore, but is time well spent to prevent a widespread problem later on, and certainly gives a huge amount of satisfaction for a job well done. We have adopted ‘no mow May’ in part of our garden which really does encourage insect life, while still mowing where we need to use the lawn for the washing line or to enjoy our garden furniture for al fresco meals, a daytime cuppa or evening socialising with friends and family.

I do hope you enjoy May. It is such a magnificent month in the great outdoors, with so many opportunities for gardening or simply enjoying your outside space.


You are now leaving Squire’s and visiting our careers website, to view and apply for our latest jobs.