May Top Tips

The soft warmth of May sunshine and showers provides ideal weather for growing and gardening. There are pots and hanging baskets to plant up and lawns to encourage into thick, lush growth for summer games and spread-eagled relaxation. Inspiration is not limited to your own plot as you can find creative ideas from Malvern Spring Show, The South of England Spring Show and London’s Chelsea Flower Show plus, of course, the hundreds of gardens open to the public for charity in your own locality.


Stake tall growing perennials such as delphinium, lupin, peony, Michaelmas daisy, japanese anemone and foxtail lily. This will ensure stems remain upright and will not fall foul of windy weather. An organic mulch applied around the root area of perennials will help to keep soils moist and plants thriving.

TOP TIP: At the beginning of the month you can plant out dahlia tubers in rich soil where their roots will be able to plumb the depths of moist organic-rich soil. Leave plants in leaf until the last half of the month before planting out as they could be damaged by frost.


Mild, damp weather is normal for May and as a result lawns should be growing strongly. A weekly cut with your mower is almost always needed as this is the time of the year that grass growth hits its yearly peak. At each mowing you can gradually reduce the height of cut so that by the end of June you will be down to the summer minimum.

TOP TIP: If the weather is dry start watering the lawn now so that you can build up moisture levels before any drought affects you lawn


It’s time to sow seeds of tender crops that need some time to grow before planting out at the end of the month when all frosts are over. Runner beans, French beans and sweet corn fall into this category as they germinate easily and grow really fast. For best results sow single seeds in individual pots of Miracle-Gro All Purpose Compost or Expand ‘N Gro and keep them on a light windowsill or in a cold frame so they are protected from late frosts

TOP TIP: Continue to sow short rows of rocket, open lettuce and mixed salad leaves so that you can pick salad greens for weeks to come.

Check List

  • Protect delicate plants from late frosts
  • Start to mow the lawn weekly
  • Keep green house doors and vents open on warm days
  • At the end of the month plant our summer bedding
  • Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of spring flowering bulbs

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