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Maintenance in May

2 May 2012
Maintenance in May

Sow
You can sow sunflowers now: these big flowers are easy, fun and lovely for children.

The grass is now growing vigorously and you will have to mow it more often. Don’t forget to feed the grass, since whatever you cut and remove is a potential store of energy for the grass plants.

Perennials
Tall perennials need extra support now. Its best not to bind bunches of stems to canes, ideally take account of the shape of the plant.

Guide and tie climbing plants
Guide new shoots to where you want them. In many cases they can be inserted between the existing stems, but you will sometimes have to prune in order to keep them under control and regularly tie them again.

Herbs
Plant herbs in the sunniest, most sheltered spot possible. Most kitchen herbs also grow very well in pots and troughs.

Feed hedges
Fertilise hedges at the roots in order to prevent them from looking elsewhere for food and competing with your other plants. Preferably use special food for hedge plants.

Withering bulbs
If you want to keep bulbs, they need to take up a sufficient reserve of food. That can only happen if you leave the foliage to wither slowly. Only remove it when it is completely yellowed. This applies not only to bulb crops that you want to allow to go wild, like snowbells, crocus and narcissi, but also for bulbs that you want to dig up and store, like tulips. Mow around withering bulbs in the lawn.

Watering
Young plants in particular need regular watering. Ideally give them rainwater at the right temperature. Water caught in a water butt is perfect.
When watering plants with a hose from the mains, allow the water to fall in a fine mist, it will have had time to take on some of the ambient temperature, which is preferable