As the days start getting longer and warmer, it’s clear (and relieving!) to see that summer’s on its way. That’s why May is the perfect time to start sowing seeds, planting out the bedding plants and having a good tidy up.

So, here’s a list of the jobs to do in your garden in May:

What to grow in May

Now that the weather is picking up it’s the perfect time to get growing. There are so many things to plant in spring, and May is a fabulous opportunity to get the garden ready for summer. Hardy annuals can now be sowed direct, including marigolds, cornflowers, larkspur and poppies. And come summertime, you’ll be greeted with a riot of colour in your beds and borders.

Perennials can also be sown in May but this should be done indoors in seed trays to start with. Pansies, geraniums and echinacea are all perfect and, once sown, should be placed in a light, cool spot (your windowsill is ideal).

Keep weeds away

It’s important to continue weeding your beds and borders. Pesky weeds will compete with your plants for water and nutrients, so check for them regularly and remove before they have chance to set seed. Carefully dislodge the weeds with a hoe, making sure you don’t accidentally disturb any planted seeds below the surface. Be sure to get the whole root too to prevent it growing back.

Top tip: Lay some weed suppressing mulch down beneath the soil before you plant anything in borders as this will save you lots of time weeding in the future!

Restore patios, sheds and fences

Warmer weather gives you the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and spruce up your garden. Clear your patios of algae and general dirt that’s gathered over winter with a good quality patio cleaner. Give the garden shed a good clear out and clean garden tools to keep them working at their best for longer.

You can try organising your shed by placing the lesser-used items to the back – and don’t forget to check padlocks for rust and damage while you’re at it and treat with maintenance spray like WD40.

Now’s also a great time to give the shed itself a little TLC. A simple lick of wood paint is all that’s needed to bring it back to life and help it last for years to come. And whilst you’ve got the paint out, don’t forget your fence panels might be ready for a fresh coating, too!

Garden furniture

Once all the hard work’s done, you’ll need something to relax on. Having such a beautiful Easter weekend as we did this year, you’ll no doubt already have pulled the furniture covers off your long-forgotten patio set if you already had one. If your garden furniture set has seen better days, whatever it’s made from there are some simple steps you can take to revive it. Why not take a look at our handy outdoor furniture care guide here? This will have it looking its best in no time.

National BBQ Week

With National BBQ Week taking place from 25th May, fingers crossed there’ll be the opportunity to get BBQ-ing. But if the BBQ has yet to have its first outing, we’ve got even more handy BBQ cleaning tips in our blog which will have it looking as good as new and ready for those sizzling steaks.


May Checklist

Fruit and veg

  • Earth up potatoes
  • Plant celery outdoors
  • Plant out pot-raised beans
  • Sow main crop vegetables
  • Feed fruit and veg
  • Check for pests and disease and treat accordingly

Hard gardening

  • Apply greenhouse shading


  • Plant out summer bedding
  • Continue weeding
  • Lift and divide daffodils
  • Harden off seedlings
  • Tie in climbers
  • Feed shrubs
  • Cut back vigorous rock plants
  • Support tall plants


  • Patch repair
  • Apply high nitrogen fertiliser
  • Continue sowing new lawns


  • Re-pot orchids after two flowerings
  • Continue feeding

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