What to do in your garden during May
In dry continental and highveld, summer-rainfall regions do the following the garden.
Plant and Sow
Sow all summer-flowering annuals like:
Dianthus (Carnation, Pink)
Primula species (Cowslip, Polyanthus, Primrose)
Alcea rosea (Common hollyhock)
Senecio x hybrids (Florist’s cineraria, ragwort, groundsel)
Malcolmia maritima (Virginian stock)
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Digitalis purpurea (Common foxglove)
Viola wittrockiana (Pansy)
Verbena x hybrids (Garden verbena, Rose vervain)
Petunia spp (Petunia)
Papaver nudicaule (Iceland poppy)
Sow vegetables like:
Petroselinum species (Parsley)
Apium graveolens (Celery)
Phaseolus coccineus (Runner bean)
Lactuca sativa (Lettuce)
Daucus carota (Carrots)
Brassica oleracea var. capitata (Cabbages)
Beta vulgaris var. cicla (Chard, Swiss chard)
Allium porrum (Leeks)
Beta vulgaris var. esculenta (Beetroot)
Pastinaca sativa (Parsnips)
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis (Cauliflower)
General garden maintenance
- Stop feeding roses to prevent lush young growth from appearing; they should harden off for winter.
- Protect young and tender plants from cold winds.
- Water the lawn once a month.
- Once a week, water Azaleas, Camellias and shrubs from the winter-rainfall areas.
- Water fruit trees, vines and berries well once every three weeks.
- Plant Ranunculus and Anemone bulbs.
- Plant out container-grown trees and shrubs.
- Spray apples, pears and quinces against codling moth, and peaches against fruit fly.
- Water citrus trees well every three weeks and spray against citrus psylla; water other fruit trees thoroughly every second week.
- Keep the soil well mulched.
- Consider installing a rainwater tank. Many container-grown plants do best if watered with rainwater.
- Stake Dahlias and water and fertilize them regularly.
- Mulch roses well.
- Cut back Chrysanthemums.
- Deadhead roses regularly.
- Sow lawn seed.
- Transplant Primula seedlings.
- Prepare trenches for sweet peas.
- Feed and mulch Hydrangea, and remove the dead flowerheads from the bushes.
- Spray apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums against fruit fly; and apples, pears and quinces against codling moth.
- Water citrus trees every three weeks in dry weather, and spray with insecticide.
- Feed fruit trees after the fruit are harvested
For May maintenance tips on watering, pruning, pests and disease, fertilizing and much more visit our countrywide maintenance guide.