May- What to plant

30th Apr 2021

In The Veggie Patch

In our busy worlds that are filled with concrete, asphalt and screens, plants help us to reconnect with nature as we enjoy the delights of new growth, colour and ever changing freshness. There is plenty to be achieved in the garden during May as we prepare for the coming winter days.

Adding a nice thick layer of mulch to garden beds now will help keep the soil warmer, help to suppress weeds and have gardens looking great.Pea Straw mulch is particularly good in vegetable, herb and flower beds. With high nutrient value and filled with organic matter, these mulches encourage earthworms to be working with us as they aerate and purify the soil.

Now is an excellent time to plant broccoli, broad beans, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, lettuce, leeks, kale, turnips. Our fresh locally grown Tasmanian garlic has been hugely popular and are still available to plant out now. If you have a warm protected position you can also consider sowing an early crop of pea seed and in frost free areas a patch of Pinkeye seed potatoes. Add a layer of mulch as the leaves emerge to help protect the potatoes from frost.

Be sure to harvest basil and pumpkins before frost strikes. Tomato plants can be pulled from the ground and hung upside down in a protected place allowing the green fruit to continue ripening.

The days are now noticeably shorter, and the changes of the season are all around us. Deciduous ornamental trees are beginning to shed their displays of autumn foliage and the landscapes around us are being transformed. There are lots of flowering annuals to plant now to continue a fabulous colour display as winter approaches.
Pansies, violas, dianthus, sweet peas, nemesia, primula and polyanthus all love the cooler weather. Plant garden beds, hanging baskets and pots now for a harvest of colour over the months ahead.

  • Move Cymbidium Orchids into a protected sunny position which will help to encourage good flower spikes during winter and spring.
  • Its your last chance to repair or sow new lawns prior to the cold weather arriving. If sowing a new lawn be sure to add a lawn starter fertiliser as each lawn seed will benefit from the nearby fertiliser granules and the result will be better germination, rapid root development, balanced leaf growth and a much healthier, stronger new lawn.
  • Winter will also see attack from lawn grubs. Try and avoid cutting your lawn too short as this often leads to less healthy lawn which is attractive to lawn grubs...ask us how to treat
  • If your soil is heavy clay then add powerfeed or gypsum to help improve water penetration and soil aeration.
  • Apply moss killer to lawns now... Moss will increase its spread through the lawn over winter.
  • Lift and divide lilium bulbs, remove any diseased or dead material and prepare the ground to replant in June.
  • If you don't have a compost heap, it's time to start one. Autumn leaves are a fantastic source of nutrients and organic matter and they are now plentiful!
  • If you have a pond now is a great time to give your pump a clean.
  • Reduce the water to indoor plants, a great time to remove any old leaves or debris from the surface of the potting mix and feed with aquasol or thrive.
  • Hydrangea plants can be pruned at the end of May- late July.

Did you know?

Most hydrangeas form their flowers on second year growth. So as we prune we need to follow some simple steps. Cutting back too much of the established wood will increase shoot development, but it will also reduce the number of flowers on your hydrangea.

If you are pruning, then start by removing any dead branches right to the ground, then continue by simply following the length of the branch you are about to prune until you find a pair of leaf buds parallel to each side of the stem, prune on a 45 degree angle about 20mm above these double buds.