What to do during May in your garden and greenhouse?

Garden Maintenance

· Transplant tomatoes into growing bags or large pots, and tie their main stem to a cane or vertical wire for support

· Garden maintenance

· Scoop out pondweed, blanketweed and algae from ponds and water features

· Put soft tops on the tips of all canes, in borders, veg plots, pots and greenhouses, to prevent injury to eyes

· Apply wood treatment to wooden garden furniture to condition it for summer

· Set up an extra compost bin or a worm bin, so you can recycle more green waste from your kitchen and garden

· Apply nitrogen-rich summer lawn feed to encourage leafy growth

· Mow grass pathways through wildflower areas so you can walk in among the flowers

· Hoe bare soil and hand-weed beds weekly, so weeds don't have time to establish and set seed

· Put supports in place for clumps of perennials that are prone to flopping, such as top-heavy peonies or phlox

· Trim topiary regularly to promote bushy growth and keep it looking neat

· Sow grass seed or lay new turf by the end of this month, to create a new lawn or repair damaged patches

· Check shrubs for nests before you start any pruning, to avoid disturbing nesting birds

· Clean out and scrub bird feeders regularly to maintain hygiene

· Build sturdy wigwams and supports for climbers such as runner beans, sweet peas and morning glory

· Watch out for aphids on shoot tips and young foliage, and wipe them off or spray with a soap-based solution


· Prune spring shrubs, such as forsythia and chaenomeles, after flowering to keep them compact

· Plant out dahlia tubers and cannas after all risk of frost has passed

· Tie in the new shoots of climbing plants, including clematis, wisteria and honeysuckle, to their supports

· Continue sowing annuals, such as California poppies, into gaps in borders for colour from August into autumn

· Plant up hanging baskets, but keep in a greenhouse or porch for a few weeks to establish, before putting outside

· Apply liquid feed to tulips, daffodils and other spring bulbs to encourage a good display next year

· Plant out summer bedding and tender annuals, including sunflowers, cosmos and nasturtiums, after the last frost

· Remove faded spring bedding, such as wallflowers and forget-me-nots, once faded and add to your compost bin

· Check lilies and fritillaries for scarlet lily beetles and their larvae, as they can rapidly strip plants of all foliage

· Harden off tender plants raised indoors, but bring them back in at night to protect from late frosts

· Pinch out the shoot tips of bedding plants and young annuals to encourage bushier growth

· Add interest to shady borders by planting a selection of hostas and ferns