Tips for May 2024

April 30, 2024 3:07 pm Published by

Check Box plants regularly for evidence of damage from box tree moth caterpillars (webbing and defoliation). Remove any caterpillars that you spot by hand or apply a biological control.

Plant up hanging baskets and containers with bedding if you have a bight frost free place to keep them until they go outdoors after the last frosts at the end of the month.

To prevent potato tubers turning green in the light and becoming potentially harmful to eat, earth up potato plants by drawing soil around the the stems to form a ridge 20 – 30 cm high.

Continue to make successional sowings of beetroot, carrots, radish, lettuce and other salad crops. Sow short rows every few weeks for a long season of harvesting.

After flowering finishes, prune Clematis Montana. If you have plenty of room to let it scramble, just give  light tidy. If space is short, do not be afraid to cut it back as far as you need to.

Thyme, marjoram and rosemary are herbs that add wildlife value, even to a window box, as their flowers are magnets for pollinators.

To maintain shape, cut back the flowered stems of Forsythia, Ribes (Ornamental Currant) and Kerria to shoots lower down.

Place pheromone traps in apple and pear trees to monitor attacks of Codling Moth that cause “maggoty” fruit.

Improve grass health and growth by feeding turf with a proprietary spring or summer lawn fertiliser. Hire or purchase a spreader to get an even distribution.

Pot grown Cannas and Dahlias can be hardened off gradually ready for planting out once frosts have passed at the end of the month.