Reg’s Gardening Tips for May

Late Spring early Summer is such a lovely time for the garden with such a burst of new growth.

It is well worth a visit to Coleman’s to select the right feed for every needy plant to encourage strong, healthy growth.

General fertilizer such as chicken manure pellets for the herbaceous shrubs, fish blood and bone for fruit; Growmore has a higher nitrogen content which is good to give the leafy vegetables a boost. Select Ericaceous composts to top-dress acid loving plants such as rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. It’s a good idea to give a dose of seaweed feed as a tonic to most of your plants, especially the roses. Indeed, roses are hungry for a feed now, so spread some rose fertilizer or chicken pellets around the bushes and gently scratch in, and in a few weeks time do this feed again to keep producing good growth and flower. As June comes in keep an eye out for diseases starting on the rose bushes and use spray to reduce an attack of mildew and blackspot. Regular feeding within the greenhouse is important to remember through the summer months especially for tomatoes, and good ventilation and watering to prevent disease and splitting of fruits.

The warmer weather of May into June is right for planting out runner, climbing French and ordinary French beans. A wigwam of runner and climbing purple pod French beans can look attractive as well as producing a good crop, and does not need a lot of space but will benefit from a good depth of moisture-retentive compost.

Summer is for bright colours and nothing is more showy than lots of annual bedding plants. Create an eye-catching display using bedding begonia, available in red leaved forms in single or mixed colours, or splash some colour with mixed bedding Dahlias. Petunias also come in a range of bright colours and the trailing forms are good for baskets, tubs, and hanging over low walls.

The standard Osteospermums which come in pinks, magenta or white with a lilac tinge, are showy little numbers that add something special to the patio, or look good beside a doorway in a large ceramic planter with trailing bedding plants underneath.

For a small climber consider the Clematis Boulevard collection, dwarf plants that only reach about 1 to 1.5 metres and flower through the Summer. Available in a range of colours, these are ideal for pots or planting at the base of a standard rose, pergola or rambling through a small shrub. Dwarf evergreen azaleas are in flower now, and add colour to large pots and the front of borders; the deciduous azaleas also give a fine display and lilies planted between them make a great show later in the year.

Lupins are a traditional choice for summer borders as the flower spikes stand out so brilliantly, and the Gallery Collection have a selection of colours: reds, pink and whites. If grown in pots use a good compost, preferably soil based and watch the watering. For a plant that is good for the bees choose catmint such as Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’, as the silver purple scented foliage and blue flowers are there all Summer; cut down in the late Autumn and it will come again next year.

Lastly but most importantly the lawns need some TLC to stay fresh for Summer and at this point of the year consider using EverGreen No Rake Moss Remover. An organic based product, the naturally occurring bacteria feed on the dead moss so there is no blackening of the moss and no raking out of dead material needed, and there is a slow-release fertiliser that continues to feed the grass for the following three months. Just the job for everyone: organic and reducing the hard work, so there is plenty of time to sit back in the patio chairs and enjoy looking at your beautiful garden!