May’s gardening to-do list

If you think May is a month for garden hibernation, think again! Here are a few gardening to-dos …

According to Nick Stodel, MD of Stodels Nurseries, this month is an excellent time to get stuck into the garden.

“Autumn is ideal for getting plants into the ground in order for them to take root and establish themselves, ready for a growth spurt in spring,” says Stodel.

What to plant and sow

  • Now is the time to sow seeds of cornflowers, sweet peas, alyssum, African daisy, linaria, lobelia and Virginian stocks
  • Plant pansies, carnations, dianthus, cineraria, phlox, salvia, poppies, verbena and primula
  • Get those spring blubs into the ground now. You could try iris, freesia, ixia, narcissus, chincherinchee, ranunculus, sparaxis and tritonia
  • Stay indigenous by planting proteas, ericas, conebushes and pincushions

In the veggie garden

It’s time to plant your own veggies for the perfect winter soup, potjie or casserole.

Plant broad beans, beetroot, celery, peas, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, onions, lettuce, garlic, leeks, parsnips, parsley, turnips and asparagus.

Quick tip for planting asparagus: The crowns must be spaced 45cm apart, so dig a trench 45cm wide and 25 to 30cm deep.

What to cut and trim

May is the month to cut back Michaelmas daisies, penstemon, chrysanthemum, obedience plants (Physostegia), plectranthus, dahlias and cannas.

And a hot tip to encourage sweet pea growth is to mulch regularly, snip off new tendrils and side shoots, and use a trellis or stake to keep individual plants upright.

What to feed

no. 2

  • Feed azaleas, camellias and tea bushes a handful of 3:1:5 per bush. Mulch with compost and keep then well-watered.
  • Boost lawns with a handful of 2:3:2 per square metre.
  • Treat a Yesterday, today and tomorrow shrub with magnesium sulphate.
  • Show indoor plants, like calceolarias, cinerarias, cyclamen, daffodils, hyacinths, jonquils, narcissi, poinsettias and primulas, some love with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks.

(source: All4Women)

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