May In the Garden

Featured in the May 2017 handbook.

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Open doors and vent on greenhouses on warm, sunny days. Damp down the floor of the greenhouse regularly on hot days, to increase humidity levels. This benefits plant growth and also reduces the risk of pest problems such as glasshouse red spider mite.

Don’t forget to give greenhouse plants more space as they put on new growth. This will help to prevent disease, and to contain early pest infestations.

Harden off your half-hardy bedding plants that were started off early under cover. By placing them outside for a short period only, at the warmest time of day, and then gradually increasing the length of time they are outside, you can avoid the ‘shock’ that they otherwise experience when moved outside suddenly and permanently.

Check plants at least every few days, to see if they need watering. Seedlings will need daily attention. Use rain, grey or recycled water wherever possible.

Train the new stems of passionflowers and other climbers over frames or on horizontal wires.

Remember to tie in shoots of indoor tomatoes, peppers and aubergines as they grow. Stems are much less likely to break or grow in undesired directions if they're trained from early on. Regularly inspect plants, and also the structures of the greenhouse and conservatory, for glasshouse red spider mite, whitefly, and other pests. Paying careful attention to the undersides of the leaves, and to each plant in turn, this can spot early infestations that you would otherwise be missed. Brush up fallen compost and debris, and pick off dead leaves from plants. This will help prevent pests and disease spreading.


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