May is the perfect time to deal with the weeds
May can be a tricky month for the gardener and the current weather underlines why.
Any thoughts of warm summer sunshine, and plenty of it, are on the back burner this year, and gardeners have to keep a close watch on the weather conditions.
It may be a month from Midsummer’s Day, but late frosts are still possible, and could prove fatal if missed.
Make sure to keep vulnerable plants and new shoots protected at night if frost is forecast.
Don’t be tempted to put out tender bedding too early, and be prepared to cover it if necessary. And continue your spring clean. Hoe borders to eliminate weeds before they take hold.
Dandelions are a real pest at this time of year, and if you can’t deal with them permanently, at least chop their heads off before they seed.
Continue removing moss and weeds from paths, terraces and drives and look out for pests in the garden.
Keep chemical controls to a minimum, however; they not only kill off the pests, but also the insects that prey on them, such as ladybirds.
Slugs and snails love tulips and delights such as young shoots of delphiniums, so use pet-friendly slug pellets, and drench the ground with liquid slug killer to wipe out any pests below the surface.
Despite the damp, gardeners should be cutting lawns once a week if possible, as grass loves the combination of warmth and wetness, and forget to add the cuttings to your compost heap.
For a healthy lawn, apply a high nitrogen summer lawn fertiliser, but use carefully to avoid run-off pollution.