6 Garden Maintenance Tasks For The Month of May
With gardens up and down the UK in full bloom, May is always an extremely busy time of the year in the gardening calendar.
No matter where you live in the country, May generally sees the last frost date pass. The longer daylight hours – and hopefully warmer temperatures – mean May is a great time of the year to get outside and get your hands dirty.
Garden maintenance doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming and the majority of this month’s maintenance tasks are reasonably quick and easy to undertake; however, the end result will be a garden that you can be proud of.
Here is our list of 6 garden maintenance tasks for the month of May.
1. Care for Your Lawn
During May, your lawn will be requiring lots of your time to ensure it is in the best condition possible and looking at its best.
Regular mowing will be required to control the rapid growth your lawn should be experiencing this time of the year.
Weekly mowing is recommended and you should always ensure you cut the grass to the correct height, too. For most lawns, somewhere around 10mm–25mm will suffice. Try experimenting with differing height settings on your lawnmower to find what works best.
May is a good time of the year to apply a nitrogen-based fertiliser to encourage a healthy lawn. If your lawn suffers from moss or weeds, treat it with a lawn weedkiller; that should take care of the problem without harming your grass.
But if this all sounds like too much work, why not consider installing artificial grass?
It requires very little maintenance and will have a stunning appearance all year round.
Under some circumstances, it is almost impossible to grow and maintain a lush green lawn.
Many gardens suffer from either lack of sunlight, lack of nutrients that your grass needs to grow, or you may have pets or children that are causing your lawn to look patchy and tired.
It is under these conditions that fake grass really comes into its own.
2. Protect Greenhouse Plants
As the temperatures begin to rise, you’ll need to be careful that your greenhouse doesn’t become too hot.
To avoid overheating, open windows and vents to allow air to flow through your greenhouse.
You can paint the windows using shade paint, too.
To help reduce pests and increase the humidity of your greenhouse, wet the floor on hot days.
3. Control Weeds
During the month of May, it’s not just your plants that will be in full bloom; unfortunately, the weeds will be thriving, too.
It’s important to keep on top of weeding and prevent them from getting out of control.
You don’t necessarily have to use chemicals, either.
There are several ways in which you can remove weeds.
Hoeing over your beds will help to kill the seeds and also bring them to the surface of the bed to dry out, rather than re-rooting in the moist soil below the surface.
Remove any weeds from pathways and patios by hand or with a weeding knife, before they set seed.
To help prevent weed growth, consider installing weed inhibitors such as bark chips or root barriers.
You can also create low-maintenance beds by installing weed membrane and spreading a decorative aggregate over the fabric, which will minimise weed growth.
4. Trim Hedges
Most hedges only need trimming once a year and May is a good time to undertake this task.
Before cutting hedges back, always check for signs of wildlife living within your bushes, such as birds’ nests.
In the UK, the nesting season runs between March and August, and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to disturb or destroy a bird’s nest.
For large hedges you’ll find life is much easier with a petrol or electric trimmer, although smaller hedges can be maintained with handheld shears, as long as they are sufficiently sharp.
As always, safety should be a high priority and it is very important to wear the correct protective equipment, such as gloves, goggles and sensible clothing.
If using an electric hedge trimmer, always place the cable over your shoulder to minimise the chances of cutting through it.
5. Ensure Hanging Baskets Are Well-Watered
Hanging baskets have the ability to enhance any garden, but it is important that they are properly looked after to ensure they look healthy and beautiful all summer long.
They will need to be watered frequently and thoroughly. Because they are suspended in the air and subjected to winds, the soil in hanging baskets can quickly become dry.
Always try to water your baskets with recycled water or consider installing a water butt to catch rainfall.
Normally, watering once a day will be sufficient, but check the moisture of the soil a couple of times per day to ensure they don’t become too dry.
If any of the plants in your basket begin to die off or have finished blooming, be sure to replace them with something else, to ensure your basket remains attractive.
6. Paint Your Fence Panels
In the UK, we are lucky enough to typically have two bank holidays during the month of May and this extra spare time can be put to good use in the garden.
Although bank holidays are notorious for their bad weather, if we are lucky enough to have dry weekends, why not take the opportunity to add a splash of colour to your garden?
Staining your fence panels can have a huge impact on the way your garden looks.
It will not only improve the aesthetics of the fence panels but, by staining them, you will also help to protect them from the elements and prolong their lifespan. And it’s a job best done before planting annual climbers, such as sweet peas, that will scramble up the panels and add their own colour and fragrance to the mix.
May is a fantastic time of the year to get out in the garden.
The warmer weather and early signs of summer should put a spring in your step and give you the inspiration to get outside and improve your garden.
It’s important to keep on top of these maintenance tasks to ensure things don’t get out of control, meaning you end up with a garden that better resembles a jungle than a relaxing oasis.
We hope our list of 6 maintenance tasks for the month of May has helped you take action in your garden today.
Is there anything we have missed from our list of May garden maintenance jobs? Do you disagree with anything?
Then why not leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you!
Don’t forget to check out our garden maintenance guides for the other months of the year: