If you’re a keen gardener, then come rain or shine, the May Bank Holiday is a time when getting out into the garden is a must. At this time of the year, when things have really started to grow, there’s a lot to be getting on with and you can easily miss important jobs. This year, when there’s been so much rain in the past few months, plants have sprung into life with even more vigour than many previous years. And, whether you’re a vegetable grower or have a beautiful garden of tended flowers, there are some ideal jobs to enjoy this weekend.
Ensure that pots are watered
When there’s been so much rain, it’s easy to think that pots won’t need watering. However, the natural shape of pots combined with the fact that the soil cannot take advantage of rising water tables, means that it’s vital to water plants. With hosepipe bans in force for many parts of the country, providing potted plants with a thorough drench this weekend will set them on the path to flourish and flower in the months ahead.
Start to offer support
In the spring, when everything starts to grow so vigorously, it’s easy to get left behind. Many taller plants are quickly putting on bursts of life and growing towards the sky, and it’s important to start offering them so form of support. Particularly when it’s wet and windy, and plants could therefore be more likely to snap, the use of canes or purpose made metal stakes is crucial. Not only will your plants benefit, but you won’t have to breathe a sigh of relief every time you go outside and discover that your favourite flowers and foliage haven’t been flattened by overnight wind and rain.
Keep the pests at bay
As with everything else at this time of year, pests are emerging from their winter retreats and flourishing. This means that pest control in the garden is crucial to avoid infestations. Humid conditions have been perfect for slugs and snails, so protecting vulnerable plants such as hostas and echinacea is important. There are various ways of slug protection, including using pellets, isolating at-risk plants in pots, using beer traps and installing copper tape and collars to stop molluscs in their tracks. Heading out into the garden each evening and collecting rogue slugs and snails is also a good idea. Meanwhile, pests such as vine weevil and lavender beetle (right) should be looked for, as catching problems early can help prevent long term damage.
Pot up seedlings
If you started the year with enthusiastic sowing, then this May Bank Holiday is the ideal time to pot seedlings into large pots. It’s important not to let young plants become pot bound as you’ll restrict future growth, so by continuous potting up, you’ll ensure that all of your young and nurtured seedlings have the best chance at survival.
Tend your vegetable patch
Many vegetable gardeners will have already got off to a good start, and plants such as broad beans may already be in flower. These crops are susceptible to blackfly, and you can reduce the risk of infestation by pinching out the growing tips of the plants at this time of year. This will allow the young beans to develop without being pest smothered. Meanwhile, early crop potatoes that are beginning to appear above the ground can be earthed up, whilst raspberry suckers emerging through the wet soil should be cut back. Many crops such as tomatoes, sweetcorn, peppers and marrows can still be sown, and this weekend is the perfect time to get some new harvests growing.
Sit back and relax
Alternatively, if you're ahead on your gardening preparations you can sit back and hopefully enjoy some sunshine. If you're looking for some new outdoor furniture for the summer our shop in London is open throughout the bank holiday weekend. We're offering some exclusive May bank holiday deals to our readers, so don't miss your chance to grab a special offer.
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