May 2012 in your Garden

Featured in the May 2012 handbook.

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Once spring bulbs are over, rather than cutting down the foliage, leave to die and break down naturally. Doing this and adding liquid fertiliser around the clumps will encourage strong growth next spring. Itís still an idea to deadhead any faded flowers to prevent plants wasting energy creating seed heads.

Spring flowering shrubs should also be pruned back to encourage next yearís growth, and now is also a good time to give any box and other formal hedging a bit of a gentle tidy up. Make sure to use hand shears rather than mechanical hedge trimmers which often bruise rather than cut the leaves.

Continue to hoe soil to keep down weeds. This should be done in warm, dry conditions to ensure any weed seedlings left on the surface dehydrate and die.

Support your tall growing perennials like Delphiniums Peonies and Fuchsia with circular plant support hoops, or bamboo canes with string.

Climbers can make wonderful patio displays in the right pots. Make sure any pots you use for this are at least 35cm diameter to give the roots enough space. make wigwams from silver birch, but if youíre after a more regimented look canes will do the job just as well. Either way you need each pole / cane to be at least 2m tall, and should have one per plant. When your climbers start to take off, their shoots will need to be tied regularly to keep them from smothering nearby plants and generally becoming wayward.

Once the frosts are over, plant out half-hardy annuals, dahlia tubers chrysanthemums and start planting gladioli bulbs

Plant out half hardy annuals, and direct sow French beans, carrots sweet corn squash and pumpkins.

Donít forget keep weeding

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