The April showers are slowly reducing, the days are getting longer and warmer and the trees are finally starting to come into leaf. April was a busy month in the garden here at Painswick with the majority of the seeds now sown. As the season has been delayed by about 5 weeks, we have been able to work on our development project around the plunge pool. Why not come along and have a look at the fruits of our labour!? More details about our exciting project will follow over the coming weeks. May is set to be another busy month in the garden, check out the list below of all the tasks to do this month; these tasks may be appropriate for your own garden too:
- Continue mowing, strimming and edging the lawns.
- Lift and divide over crowded clumps of daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs.
- Start regular weeding and hoe small weeds where possible.
- Towards the end of the month plant out Summer bedding.
- Sow Spring flowering bedding for next year, such as pansies, bellis, wallflowers, these are all biennials. (These can be sown from May until July).
- Divide Hosta as they come into leaf.
- Divide herbaceous perennials that you would like to propagate from.
- After Primroses have finished flowering they can be split and planted into a nursery bed until they are ready to be planted out in the Autumn for a display the following Spring.
- Continue dead heading Tulips and Daffodils.
- Lift clumps of Forget-me-nots before they seed everywhere.
- Before strimming areas of Daffodils allow the leaves to go brown, so the nutrients return to the soil. A liquid fertiliser can be applied to areas of Spring flowering bulbs.
- Start putting out supports for herbaceous perennials as the growth starts.
- Start tying in Sweetpeas to ensure an attractive display.
- Remove faded Spring bedding such as wallflowers.
- Pot on pot-bound plants.
- Keep an eye out for pest and diseases around the garden and act on quickly.
- Cut back Penstemon and hardy fuschia after the frost has passed.
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as Berberis, Chaenomeles, Choisya and Ribes after flowering. Remove one stem in three from Kerria and Spiraea ‘Arguta’, and shorten the other flowered stems to a suitable side-shoot. Evergreens such as Viburnum tinus can also still be trimmed this month.
- Prune frost damaged evergreen shrubs such as Aucuba and Prunus.
- Tie in climbing and rambling Roses.
- Take cuttings of deciduous shrubs.
- Start spaying Roses against pest and diseases.
- In the greenhouse, open vents to increase the air flow, use shade netting in extreme heat, increase humidity levels on hot days by damping down the floor.
- Continue to prick out and pot on seedlings as they get bigger.
- Selective lawn weed killers will kill the weeds but not the grass or any naturalised bulbs. However, be warned – they will kill wild flowers growing in the turf.
- Apply a nitrogen fertiliser to lawns.
- Thin aquatic plants.
- Remove blanket weed and leaves, leaving the materials on the bank of the pond to allow creatures to return to the water before adding to the compost pile.
- Repair and clean all outside structures including, buildings, paths, pergolas etc.
A large amount of seed has been sown direct to the soil in the Kitchen Garden, with a number of plants grown in our polytunnel planted out as well; there are a large number of plants to be still planted this month. Below is a list of tasks for the month of May in the Kitchen Garden:
- Sow purple sprouting and cauliflower for harvesting next Winter.
- Plants sown under cover such as tomato, cucumber, pumpkins, squash and courgette can all be planted out once the last frost has gone.
- All young seedlings can be planted out once they have hardened off for 10-14 days.
- Brussels sprouts sown in early Spring should now be ready to plant out for next Spring.
- Early sowing varieties of leek can now be transplanted to the kitchen garden.
- Broad bean supports can now be constructed.
- Continue succession sowing of lettuce, rocket, beetroot, carrot, spring onion and radish.
- Earth up potatoes.
- Construct supports for peas.
- Remove side shoots of tomatoes as they start to grow.
- Protect carrot with a mesh against carrot root fly.
- Protect young seedlings against slugs.
- Protect brassicas and peas from pigeons.
- Pick yellowing leaves off brassicas to reduce brassica downy mildew.
- Protect fruit from birds.
- Continue regular weeding between the crops.
Hope this month’s blog gives you an insight into what goes on in the garden here at the Rococo Garden. I hope that this also gives you an idea of some of the tasks you can complete in your own garden. Here at Rococo, we film small snippets of gardening advice through our gardening program ‘Ask Rococo’. If you have a gardening question you would like to have answered, please email us at email@example.com, or send us a tweet @rococogarden or via our Facebook page. Until the next time, happy gardening!
All the best,
Steve Quinton BSc(Hons), M.I.Hort
Painswick Rococo Garden
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer within the garden here at Painswick please give me a call on 07803751022 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org we are always looking for keen and enthusiastic volunteers!