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What to do in the garden in May

As the days start getting longer and warmer, it’s clear (and relieving!) to see that summer’s on its way. That’s why May is the perfect time to start sowing seeds, planting out the bedding plants and having a good tidy up. So, here’s a list of things to do in your garden in May:

  • Sarah - copywriter
  •  8min read
What to do in the garden in May

What to grow in May

Now that the weather is picking up it’s the perfect time to get growing. There are so many things to plant in spring, and May is a fabulous opportunity to get the garden ready for summer. Hardy annuals can now be sowed direct, including marigolds, cornflowers, and poppies. And come summertime, you’ll be greeted with a riot of colour in your beds and borders.

Perennials can also be sown in May but this should be done indoors in seed trays to start with. Pansies, geraniums and echinacea are all perfect and, once sown, should be placed in a light, cool spot (your windowsill is ideal).

For the veggie growers among us it’s time to think about feeding your plants. Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will benefit from a weekly feed once the flowers have formed. Tomato feed from wilko is high in potassium to encourage development and help to produce large, healthy fruit.

Keep weeds away

It’s important to continue weeding your beds and borders. Pesky weeds will compete with your plants for water and nutrients, so check for them regularly and remove before they have chance to set seed. Carefully dislodge the weeds with a hoe, making sure you don’t accidentally disturb any planted seeds below the surface. Be sure to get the whole root too to prevent it growing back.

If your lawn has broad-leaved weeds such as dandelions or patches of moss treat them before they spread. For the best results use wilko complete lawn feed, weed and moss killer on weeds that are in active growth. Any treated moss will blacken as it dies and can then be raked out.

Top tip: Lay some weed suppressing mulch down beneath the soil before you plant anything in borders as this will save you lots of time weeding in the future!

Weed Killer

Restore patios, sheds and fences

Warmer weather gives you the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and spruce up your garden. Clear your patios of algae and general dirt that’s gathered over winter with a good quality patio cleaner. Decking can be revitalised with decking restorer to bring it back to life if it’s looking worn.

If your slabs and block paving need tidying up use a patio weed brush that’s designed to get right into the gaps where weeds and debris can gather.

Give the garden shed a good clear out and clean garden tools to keep them working at their best for longer. You can try organising your shed by placing the lesser-used items to the back – and don’t forget to check padlocks for rust and damage while you’re at it and treat with maintenance spray like WD40.

Now’s also a great time to give the shed itself a little TLC. A simple lick of wood paint is all that’s needed to bring it back to life and help it last for years to come. And whilst you’ve got the paint out, don’t forget your fence panels might be ready for a fresh coating, too!

Painting Shed

Garden furniture

Once all the hard work’s done, you’ll need something to relax on. Having such a beautiful Easter weekend as we did this year, you’ll no doubt already have pulled the furniture covers off your long-forgotten patio set if you already had one. If your garden furniture set has seen better days, whatever it’s made from there are some simple steps you can take to revive it.


Who doesn’t love a BBQ now the weather has started warming up! And, with a bit of luck there’ll be plenty of opportunities ahead to gather with family and friends in the garden and enjoy a bit of al fresco dining.

Keep the kids busy

Looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained at weekends and bank holidays? Why not create a cosy picnic area outside with throws and cushions from some of our new collections? Or, if you want to really ‘wow’ them you could make an outdoor cinema with some old bedding and a projector!

Plant of the month

French Marigold

French Marigolds are lovely summer flowering plants perfect for hanging baskets, flower beds or planters. The sunny golden blooms of Marigolds also attract ladybirds which feed on many garden pests such as aphids.

May checklist

Fruit and veg

  • Earth up potatoes
  • Plant celery outdoors
  • Plant out pot-raised beans
  • Sow main crop vegetables
  • Feed fruit and veg
  • Check for pests and disease and treat accordingly

Hard gardening

  • Apply greenhouse shading


  • Plant out summer bedding
  • Continue weeding
  • Lift and divide daffodils
  • Harden off seedlings
  • Tie in climbers
  • Feed shrubs
  • Cut back vigorous rock plants
  • Support tall plants


  • Patch repair
  • Apply high nitrogen fertiliser
  • Continue sowing new lawns


  • Re-pot orchids after two flowerings
  • Continue feeding

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