There's a saying here among UK gardeners that it's safe to plant outside after the Chelsea Flower Show, occurring this year on 19-23 May, which is when the threat of sudden frosts has gone. It's true, a friend planted her squashes in the ground two weeks ago and they were not only savaged by snails but also suffered cold damage.
The weather has been alternating between sunny warm days and chilly windy ones. However, spring has arrived to stay and summer is not far away. May jobs in the garden include:
- controlling weeds, the rain we had in April and early May has given them a big boost. Keep a dandelion watch - you can eat leaves in salads if you don't mind their bitter taste
- remove excess pond weeds
- keep an eye for pests and diseases - spray your roses now
- mow the lawn often
- water newly planted trees and shrubs
- if you are weeding out areas with nettles, keep young leaves for omelettes/soups and throw the rest in the compost bin as they aid composting. There is a variety of nettles that does not sting, which is a nice addition to salads. This variety has white flowers in bunches among the leaves.