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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturists
to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening! 

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May in the Garden

by User Not Found | May 01, 2013

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Whilst the first of May, or May Day, marks the official arrival of summer, it may be the prevailing weather conditions that will determine what the season might be – much like how our Spring months have played out. May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast of Bealtaine, marking the beginning of summer when cattle were let out onto lands the long nights of winter banished. Officially, the Irish May Day holiday is the first Monday in May – our modern day May Bank Holiday. Let’s hope that the summer season and feast of Bealtaine will bring a flurry of growth and prosperous blossoms about our gardens for the months ahead and keep you busy in the garden this month!


  • Now that the leaves of roses have emerged you can begin to spray them once every 14 days to ward off blackspot and aphids such as greenfly.
  • Early flowering clematis which has finished flowering can now be pruned back.
  • Perennials should be staked or given support where required.
  • Plant up hanging baskets, and leave them in a sheltered spot before hanging fully outside.
  • Regularly water newly planted trees, roses, shrubs and hedging.

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  • Continue to check plants regularly for signs of pests.
  • Regularly water crops in pots and growing bags, daily if needed in warm weather.
  • Feed young plants weekly with a solution of liquid fertiliser.

Fruit & Veg

  • Tomatoes and strawberries should be starting to show signs of flowering shortly. This is the perfect time to start feeding them a high potash feed such as sulphate of potash or tomato feed.
  • Thin out seedlings that were planted earlier in the season, such as carrots and parsnips. When handling young carrots take care not to break their leaves as the scent attracts the dreaded carrot root fly.
  • Hoe around vegetable beds as young weeds emerge. It's far easier to do this now than when weeds establish roots. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients light and water so is very important to keep them to a minimum. Hoeing is best done on a dry day so that the weeds will not recover.
  • Plant out crops being raised in pots under glass, it such as marrows, courgettes and tomatoes

Tulips and Cherry Blossom
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Around the Garden
  • Now is a good time to treat your lawn for moss and weeds and also give it a feed.
  • Newly planted trees and shrubs should be kept watered until the end of the season.
  • Now is a good time to take the BBQ out and give it a good cleaning down. Check back on Friday for top tips to get your BBQ summer ready and ensure it lasts through many flame grilled parties this summer!

If you have any further questions for this May about the garden, please feel free to contact us on or on our Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Gardening,


May, 2013

For all your gardening needs this month visit our Online Shop or call into your local CountryLife Store. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter for information on special offers and upcoming events.