In May the garden is beginning to look more like a garden should after it’s long winter rest. Lawns need mowing and borders need tending as more and more plants come into bloom every day. Hanging baskets and patio pots can be planted up now but beware of late frosts, we are sure to get at least one. Usually a covering of fleece will be enough to protect your plants. Remember to keep on top of weeds this month and it will make life easier later on.

VEGETABLES – Continue sowing hardy vegetables. Sow tender vegetables such as dwarf beans, runner beans and sweet corn. Begin thinning early sown vegetables as soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle. Plant out tomatoes, ridge cucumbers, courgettes and marrows when all danger of frost is over.

FRUIT – Place a straw mulch under strawberries about mid-month. Protect blossom from late frosts. Mulch fruit trees and bushes with compost or manure to conserve moisture in the ground. Prune and tie in fan-trained fruit trees.

FLOWERS – Plant out bedding plants when all danger of frost is over. Prick out and pot on late sown annuals. Spray roses against black-spot and greenfly. Stake flowering plants in the mixed border.

GREENHOUSE – Begin feeding tomatoes when the fruit on the first truss is about the size of a cherry. Remember to pinch out the side shoots. Ventilate and shade the greenhouse. In unheated greenhouses plant aubergines, melons, peppers and cucumbers.

LAWNS – Mow regularly. Feed and apply a selective weed killer. There’s just about time to sow new lawns or lay new turf if necessary.