May has finally arrived and it’s such a lovely month. We’re lucky to have had such super weather recently, which is a relief as lockdown has been really hard for many people. Without our regular doses of sunshine, it would be even harder to manage.
Nature has been catching up while we’ve let it have a break from our pollution and the countryside is looking glorious. If you’ve been gardening, as I know many of you have, I hope it’s been productive.

As ever there is much to get on with in the garden this month.


  • Water plants that need it regularly, especially tomatoes and cucumbers inside, and runner beans to encourage flowers to set. If it turns really dry, you may have to consider a light mist of water to help those little flowers turn into beans. Growing sweet peas among the beans will encourage the bees and other pollinators to visit with the added bonus that you get flowers as well!
  • If clipping hedges ensure that there are no birds nesting within. Let the chicks fledge first if possible, and don’t forget the parents will be feeding madly on all those unwanted insects in the garden!
  • Protect young plants from slugs, preferably with a killer that will not harm wildlife (look for the Soil Association logo, or on our Eco-effective stand with chemical-free controls). Remember that ‘less is more’ when it comes to slug pellets, a light scatter is all that is needed. You will need to repeat if we get heavy rain.
  • Re-pot water plants with aquatic fertiliser.
  • Feed pond fish regularly.
  • Feed weed and mow lawns to encourage good growth. Remember not to compost grass clippings after you have used weed killer. And if you can leave aside an un-mowed area for the wildlife, May is such an important month for many species.
  • Cover plants with horticultural fleece whenever night frosts are forecast (yes, even in May!!)
  • Cut back spring-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering.
  • Clip Clematis Montana after flowering.
  • Trim box and other formal hedging to maintain shape.
  • Tender shrubs, such as Acers, in pots can be moved outside for summer.
  • Divide and cut back spring-flowering perennials.
  • Plant out dahlias at the end of the month, or when risk of frost is over.
  • Clear out spring bedding.
  • Harden off summer bedding plants.
  • Thin out annuals sown earlier.
  • Thin out vegetables sown earlier.
  • Sow and plant out tender vegetables later this month.
  • Protect crops from carrot fly with a light cover or grow onions or leeks in between the rows. The fly doesn’t like the smell and the added height helps them to fly over the top and away. You can also try rosemary or sage, and chives work well too.
  • Continue successional sowing of vegetables.


  • Finish planting evergreen shrubs. Remember to continue to water freshly planted shrubs.


  • Sow biennials for next year’s spring bedding plants such as foxgloves, stocks, hollyhocks, primulas.
  • plants regularly for signs of pests and diseases and nip potential problems in the bud!!


King Street, Colyton, Devon EX24 6PD                                Email:

Tel: 01297 551113 { Mobile: 07805 956157                  Website: