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Gardening pro shares three jobs to do in May for best summer displays and bird warning

When it comes to gardening, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming knowing what to plant when.

However, one gardening expert has come to the rescue in knowing what to do this month, including which plants to prune and deheading spring bulbs.

Jamie Shipley, gardening expert and Managing Director at Hedges Direct, said: “May is a great month to unlock your garden’s summer potential and get the jobs ticked off which will maximise your gardens’ impact before soaring temperatures prevent these tasks from getting done.”

So you might want to get a pen and paper at the ready.

As the gardening pro recommends doing these jobs for May.

READ MORE: ‘I’m a garden expert – here’s the best way to prune Japanese maples to keep them thriving’


Shipley said: “Cut back tender shrubs such as fuchsias and pelargoniums and sub-shrubs such as penstemon and salvias. We shouldn’t have frost as late as May but keep an eye on the weather forecast before you prune to check for any unexpected cold snaps as the foliage will help protect your plants from cold.

“You should leave pruning your spring-flowering shrubs and hedging such as chaenomeles until after flowering has finished. You can also prune evergreen hedging in late May to produce bushier growth – which is sometimes known as a ‘Chelsea Chop’.”

Another thing to keep an eye out for in May is birds.

“Remember to check for anything that looks like it could be a home for our feathered friends and if you do find any signs of nesting, try to leave that plant and other surrounding plants undisturbed,” the gardening pro says.

“Popular choices for nesting birds are Pyracantha, Honeysuckle, Holly, Ivy and Blackthorn.”

Plant out flowers & sow seeds

The gardening expert recommended: “[These] include tender perennials such as Dahlias, Begonias and Petunias. Choose a sheltered spot in your garden which gets lots of direct sunlight throughout the day and make sure to use moist, fertile and well-draining soil.

“Some of the best seeds to sow in May are spring flowering bedding plants for floral displays the following year and summer flowering annuals like Cornflowers, Sunflowers, Nasturtiums, and Poppies early in the month.

“The warm temperatures will help speed up the germination of wildflower seeds – which are a great way of attracting more wildlife to your garden, but May can be a dry month so make sure to stay on top of watering.”

Deadhead spring bulbs

“Deadheading your spring flowering bulbs – like Tulips and Daffodils – helps them retain their vigour for next year”, said Shipley.

However, he advises to keeping the leaves intact because they the bulb with “vital energy for the remainder of the year, ready for flowering the following spring.”


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