May Gardening Tips

While compiling my May gardening tips the words of an old poem kept resounding in my head. The Merry Month of May, so sayeth the 16 century poet Thomas Dekker.

In the first verse of his poem he expresses his delight at the fresh, bright colour of the spring growth with the words “So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!”.

I echoed his words as I sat back basking in the warm sunshine, gazing at the miracle that is taking place before my very eyes as the herb garden springs back to life.

May is a month when vegetation growth takes off yet it is still a time for sowing. Do it this season with a little care and attention as the seedlings appear and you will reap a grand reward.

Planting Out

young German chamomile plantGerman Chamomile

Many indoor and greenhouse seedlings that you've been hardening off will be ready for planting out but be aware that frost can still hit the garden in the late Spring.

Keep the fleece out and cloches ready just in case!

A tray of French Marigold seedlings in a greenhouseFrench Marigold seedlings

My French marigold seedlings in the greenhouse are almost big enough to be transferred to the planters already occupied by a few directly sown seeds.

As expected, with the greenhouse warmth the seeds inside generated quicker.

Seeds To Sow In May

valerian growing flower stalks and budsValerian

May is really the deadline for sowing seeds. Here are a list that you can get busy with.

Fennel, Borage, French Chamomile, Meadowsweet, Wild strawberry, Sunflowers, Sweet rocket, Lemon balm, Bergamot, Catnip, Garden rue, Sorrel, Valerian, Nasturtium.

Try the old "Flame thrower" variety of Nasturtium that has been forgotten about but is truely stunning or "Phoenix", a similar bloom that just bursts with colour.

Prune Lavender and Sage

sage in budding stageSage

Go on do it! Pruning our plants can be a wee bit scary. Ever felt like you are mutilating them? Even I hate to do it! Your plants will thank you for it when they grow luscious bushy foliage.

Young woody sage and lavender plants will be quick at producing new shoots when pruned back. Cut them down to about 6 inches to encourage bushiness.

Leave larger sage plants until after flowering if you want them to bloom but don't cut established hard wood back.

Water For Life and Growth

Spring is generally a combination of rainy downpours and warm sun all happening on the same day. But with climate change now upon us the garden can suffer from drought at a time when there should be plenty of water around.

Keeping vigilant checks on pots to ensure they don't dry out is not only smart but helps feed the insects that are already under threat of extinction. Even plants that are grown in the ground can suffer dehydration.

Top tip: Try adopting some new watering methods such as burying plastic water bottles with a few pin pricks in them to allow water to seep into the soil around plant roots.

Creating Height

herb garden with planters and pots includedMy herb garden in May

Climbers such are Jasmin and passion flowerare also on the move. My May gardening tips for them is to rub off any young shoots where you do not want branches to grow.

These measures will save you a lot of pruning work later and keep their shape maintained.

Use support ties as the shoots grow, winding them around poles and trellises.

Place hanging baskets on arches, trellises and poles to create height. I hung a few empty cone baskets up as a backdrop to my herb garden for inspiration and they look just awesome! I am still in the process of deciding which plants will be at home there.

  1. HerbHints
  2. Calendar
  3. Tips For May

Visit My Facebook Page

Hint of Herbs is where you will get to know me a whole lot better as I busy about in my daily life. Read short snippets of herb garden related topics. Little interesting things that don`t normally find their way onto my pages.

Ads Transparency

All the ads on this page click through to a product and if bought by you will generate a small fee helping to keep my site running.