Top Tips for May

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Two Bank Holidays in May for many of us means that there is extra free time available to potter in the garden. It’s also a chance to enjoy some of the warmer days (fingers crossed) by sitting outside and admiring your well-tended borders!

If time is limited in the garden this month, here are our Top Ten tips:

1) Prune trees and shrubs.
2) Brighten borders with some of our lovely shrubs, climbers, herbaceous perennials and roses that are in stock now.
3) Start planting out your summer bedding plants (weather permitting).
4) Clean up your walls, paving and patios ready for the BBQ season ahead!
5) Control slugs and snails to protect your bedding.
6) Plant out greenhouse tomatoes for a bumper crop!
7) Mow your grass regularly.
8) Lay new turf.
9) Repot greenhouse plants if necessary and control greenhouse pests.
10) Harden off plants raised from seed and cuttings.

If you have a little more time to spare…

Lift and divide bulbs that have finished flowering, such as bluebells, fritillary, crocus and tulips, and lift daffodil clumps that threaten to become too crowded next year.

Harden off cutting of dahlias and chrysanthemums for planting out at the end of the month, along with tender bedding plants.

It’s time to get planting your summer bedding plants. I normally wait until the second bank holiday this month to plant mine up (weather permitting)! Have some fleece on stand-by ready in case of any late frosts to protect summer bedding and other tender plants that you’ve planted out.

Hanging baskets can be planted up (if not done already) and hung out towards the end of the month, weather permitting.

Keep baskets and pots well-watered from now on as they will soon dry out.

May is the ideal month to prune trees and shrubs such as chaenomeles, choisya and early flowering clematis varieties, as a little careful pruning now will encourage improved shape and flowering next season.

If you’re not looking for bedding, why not fill and brighten your borders with the wealth of shrubs and climbers we have to choose from, including: Ceanothus, choisya, rhododendrons, clematis, wisteria and not to mention plenty of herbaceous perennials like aquilegia, dicentra, euphorbia, geraniums and peonies. If it’s roses you are after, we have plenty in stock! Remember, roses need plenty of feeding with a granular rose fertiliser such as Bayer Garden Toprose or David Austin Rose Food.

It’s a great time for a clean-up! Walls, paving and patios that have taken a beating over the winter would benefit from a good scrub ready for all that summer dining! We recommend the NEW small and mightly, Hozelock Pico Power Pressure Washer which is in store now. It boasts a powerful 140 bar (max) motor and pump which is hidden in an amazingly small, versatile unit. Hozelock’s new Patio Cleaner can also be purchased with the Pico Power - perfect for both decking and walls!

Plant up new aquatic baskets with water lillies and oxygenating plants to aid your ponds ecosystem. Make sure your pond pumps and filters are running constantly.

Control slugs and snails to protect your bedding. We have a number of products in store to help control unwanted visitors in your garden.

If the night-time temperatures look set to dip, cover your peaches and apricots with horticultural fleece.

Earth up early crop potatoes when shoots are 9in high to prevent green potatoes.

Now’s the time to plant out greenhouse tomatoes for a bumper crop. Don’t forget to water regularly and support the plant.

Harvest any early Rhubarb.

Regular mowing usually becomes a priority this month. Add clippings to the compost heap sparingly, and mix with other organic matter. Prevent grass from creeping into the flower borders by edging the lawn with a half-moon edging iron.

Lay new turf and keep well-watered if a dry spell hits. We sell turf by the roll each roll is 1m² and is £4.75. At this time of year we have deliveries every week so if you need a large number of rolls you may want to give us a call prior to your visit so we can add the amount to our delivery to ensure we have enough in stock.
Continue to reseed bare patches and feed established lawns.

Greenhouse plants will be growing at a good rate now so make sure you repot them into the next size pot if needed. Good greenhouse ventilation and regular watering is vital at this time of year to keep plants strong and healthy. The greenhouse is a great place to grow plants but it’s also a great place for pests to harbour too. So, watch out for pests and deal with any outbreaks as they occur.

French and Runner Beans should also be growing well now too. These can be sown direct into the soil at the end of the month (weather permitting).

Remember, to harden off plants raised from seed and cuttings by leaving them outside for gradually increasing periods of time. Start with the warmest part of the day, and build up to overnight. Doing this for a couple of weeks before they are planted out will help them establish in their new position.

Keep it Local Events are here at Coolings on Saturday 26th May 2018. The Farmers market is at Coolings on every fourth Saturday of the month from 9 – 1pm. You will find stalls selling fresh, locally sourced or made foods. Tip top fresh meat, fish, bread and cakes, fruit and vegetables grown for flavour rather than volume, juicy jams and chutneys and varieties of locally brewed beers. You will find plenty of fresh seasonal produce.

(In season this month: Asparagus, Broad Beans, Carrots, Elderflower, New potatoes/Jersey Royals, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rocket, Spring Onions, Watercress, spring lamb)

Containers and baskets - add instant colour to your patio. We’ve done all the work for you with our fabulous selection of planted containers and baskets in store now!

Thinking of buying a new hosehere are our recommendations

Best of British Pots - this coming season our aim is to bring you some new and exciting stoneware products, all of which have been manufactured here in the UK for more information click here.

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