Hanging Baskets by Catherine the Garden Lady
May is the start of the garden fiesta and many gardeners’ favourite time of year. The excitement, after the long dark winter days and the lack of time spent outside, is great and you can enjoy seeing the flowers and hanging baskets are bursting with colour while the leaves are looking young and fresh.
Between now and autumn, flowers will introduce bright bold colours to the garden on a daily basis, your vegetable garden will be brimming with produce and crowds of bees and busy butterflies will visit the garden. Trees, shrubs and woody plants should be growing strongly now, even more so if the weather is damp and mild. Make sure that all newly planted trees and shrubs are firmly anchored into the ground, prune any shrubs that have finished flowering and cut back older, very woody stems to the base.
Flower buds are beginning to swell on all roses now so continue to spray the plants against greenflies. Many hardy perennials will be in flower now but carry on staking them and dahlias. Tie tall stems to canes and raise the discs on ring stakes to support the stems.
Get your hanging baskets off to a flying start
You can get your hanging baskets off to a flying start now so they will be ready to hang outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. Remember to plant as many plants in them as possible to ensure a great display. Put the basket in a large plant pot or bucket to stabilise it while you plant, line it with moss or a plastic sheet, and remember to spike holes in the base for good drainage.
Add a shallow layer of good potting compost and start to plant the sides, then add more compost for the top and use plants with a rounded or upright habit. Feed and add fertiliser pellets, then water the basket well and allow to drain.
May Gardening Top Tip:
Use a spray algae cleaner to get rid of the slimy greenish film you get on paving slabs, decking, outdoor furniture and stones.