For many of us it has taken a long time to get here, but May has finally arrived and although the sunny days are few and far between the blue skies are adding a spring in our step. What May does bring, is a whole host of jobs to do in the garden! Now the weather is warming up, the ground is ready for planting, and we can start to enjoy some relaxed days in our outside space.
Our plant area is full of colour and we’re sure it will inspire you for your next gardening project! Whether you’re updating your pots with Summer bedding, adding new hanging baskets or have a whole landscaping project on your hands – Polhill will have just the thing!
The month of May is also host to an array of events too, including National BBQ Month, Mental Health Awareness Week and No Mow May. Plus, we have a few competitions too, so we can get everyone involved in one of our favourite months of the year.
NATIONAL BBQ MONTH
Have you visited our new BBQ Showroom? If not, you are missing out! We have a dedicated area for all of our cooking demos with an in-house extractor fan, so whatever the weather we will be cooking up a storm.
We’ve already kicked off the season with two BBQ demos, which included Pit Boss and Ooni Pizzas. This month we have…
PitBoss – Saturday 27th May
CudCooks – Sunday 28th May
NO MOW MAY
No Mow May is an initiative set up by PlantLife to encourage gardeners around the country to put away their lawnmowers for the month of May. Not cutting your lawn will allow for habitats to form, wildflowers to grow which in turn will encourage more wildlife into your garden.
However, don’t mow your lawn too short, this will damage the grass growth and kill the habitats in the grass. So, take it as you will.
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
(15th – 21st May)
Gardening can really help with your mental health, did you know that soil releases the happy hormone serotonin – if that wasn’t a sure sign we don’t know what is. However, just the simple act of walking in nature, taking a breath and enjoying the great outdoors can be enough to change your overall mood.
Having an Outdoor Space that you love makes such a difference, not only to the planet but also for your mental health. Gardening and spending time outside really can relieve and distract from our very busy day to day lives. There’s no better feeling then being out in a beautiful garden that you’re proud of.
Last year the RHS released research that revealed ‘those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people that don’t garden at all. * Doctors in Japan will prescribe ‘forest bathing’ to those who are suffering with their mental health. Forest bathing, purely meaning being in the presence of trees, is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, plus improving overall feelings of wellbeing.
There is no doubt that gardening can have many mental health benefits and we strongly encourage anyone of any age and ability to get gardening. Getting outside can make the world of difference to your mental and physical health, but make sure you don’t make it a chore or make it too difficult for yourself!
However, we also understand that gardening isn’t the cure, so if you do need support please do not keep quiet and reach out to your loved ones or there are so many great companies that you can reach out to, such as Mental Health UK – Forward Together (mentalhealth-uk.org), Home – Mind, Mental health – NHS (www.nhs.uk).
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is this month! Running from 24th – 27th May, this show is the pinnacle of all flower shows in the calendar. It may be more than 100 years old, but every year there are new plants to showcase, new ideas to marvel at and new designers taking centre stage.
For 2023 all RHS Chelsea gardens are required to have a plan for life after the show. One of the most successful moves from last year was the Alder Hey Urban Forgaging Station, which was moved the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
There will be the ‘First Children’s Picnic’, which consists of 100 children from 10 schools in London, who signed up to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening being invited on press day. Getting children into horticulture is something the RHS have always been championing and we will be launching a competition this month with this focus at the forefront.
GARDENING JOBS THIS MONTH
- Prune your Spring shrubs to keep them compact after flowering.
- Once the last frost has happened make sure to plant your dahlia tubers, as well as summer bedding and tender annuals, including sunflowers and cosmos.
- Tie supports to the new shoots of climbing plants, like clematis, wisteria, and honeysuckle.
- You can now plant up your hanging baskets, but once you have done that make sure you keep them in a greenhouse or a porch for a few weeks to establish, before putting them outside.
- Make sure to feed your tulips, daffodils, and other spring bulbs so they come back next year.
- Check on the plants and discard any unwanted visitors.
FRUIT AND VEG:
- Sweetcorn can be sown into deep pots, so the young plants are ready to transplant into the garden in June.
- Peas can be sown in the warm weather.
- Tender young plants such as tomatoes and courgettes can be hardened off, ready for planting out in mild areas.
- Harvest your lettuces that you have planted back in April.
- Consider buying pheromone traps to hang in apple and plum trees from May to July, ensuring the control of pests.
- Keep fleece handy to protect young seedlings if late frosts occur.
- As the weather starts to warm up, water thirsty crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and courgettes consistently.
- Tie stems to supports of indoor veg
- Check on the plants regularly and discard any unwanted visitors.
- As daytime temperatures increase make sure to put up shading to lower the temperatures and reduce scorching.
- Make sure to keep your greenhouse ventilated on warm days.
- Repot houseplants that have become top heavy or put in larger containers.
- You can now transplant tomatoes into grow bags or larger pots and tie their stems to a cane for support.
- Apply wood treatment to wooden garden furniture for Summer.
- Keep your topiary trimmed to allow for bushy growth and to keep it neat.
- Clean any bird feeders
- Have an extra compost bin available to recycle more green waste from your kitchen and garden.
- To keep your lawn looking luscious, apply a nitrogen-rich summer lawn feed to promote growth.
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