Tips and tricks for a beautiful garden in May.
Winter-proof your plants with these top tips:
Set up structures for frost covers and fleece. Move pots to sheltered spots to protect them from frost.
Mulch mulch mulch While it looks like there’s not much happening in the garden, there’s plenty going on underneath the soil. New trees and shrubs are setting down roots, and earthworms are still processing the
organic materials in the soil. Now is a good time to put mulch into the soil to protect your plants in the winter. Convert fallen leaves into mulch and work it into the soil.
Chop dead weight Cut off diseased foliage and branches from evergreen plants, and cut down any frost-damaged plants, leaving the roots behind.
Deadhead annuals and fill the gaps in your beds with winter and spring annuals.
May is the time for planting flowers and veg, and for cutting back before the colder months. It’s also a good idea to prepare your soil with mulch before the frost arrives.
- Trim back hedges and evergreens that have finished flowering. If you’re in a summer rainfall region, trim back your bougainvillea too.
- Pull out weeds as they’re a breeding ground for pests.
- If you’re in a summer rainfall region, plant beans, horseradish, mint, thyme and snow peas. If you’re in a dry summer sub-tropical area, plant beetroot, basil, garlic, cauliflower and chilli. Sunflowers, potatoes and onions can be planted too.
- Plant spring-flowering plants, as the soil is cooler. Plant them in the sun, and they’ll do better – especially if you live in the Cape. Place taller-growing bulbs towards the back of your beds. Water the bulbs every
second day to keep them moist.
- Plant petunias in pots – they’re one of the best annuals and flower throughout the season. Lettuce will also do well in a sunny spot.