May Gardening Guide

Take time to sharpen your hoe as an ounce of prevention now with weeds will spare you a pound of cure a little further into summer.  While pellets are always effective, a gravel barrier or eggshell border may well deter the snail and slug on their slow but sure path to your produce.

At the beginning of the month, if the weather is not too cold, plant broccoli, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts, red and white cabbages, kohlrabi and kale. Leeks and peas can be planted out now too. Take care with lettuce and salad leaves-plant but be prepared to cover them if necessary. Once the frosts have passed, you can plant aubergines, peppers, chilli peppers, courgettes, marrows, patty pans, runner beans, French beans, asparagus, celery and celeriac, sweet corn, tomatoes’, fennel and sweet potatoes.

Strawberry, blueberry and gooseberry plants can still be planted this month.

Add thyme, parsley, dill, fennel, borage and coriander to your herb garden in May.

Late spring is a good time to acquire a bird feeder. Temporary food shortage can occur at almost any time of the year, and if this happens during the breeding season, extra food can make a big difference to the survival of newly hatched chicks.

“It was the month of May, the month when the foliage of herbs and trees is most freshly green, when buds ripen and blossoms appear in their fragrance and loveliness. And the month when lovers, subject to the same force which reawakens the plants, feel their hearts open again, recall past trysts and past vows, and moments of tenderness, and yearn for a renewal of the magical awareness which is love.”

Sir Thomas Malory, La Morte d’Arthur


Who first beholds the light of day

In spring’s sweet flowery month of May

And wears an emerald all her life

Shall be a loved and happy wife.


“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.”
William Shakespeare