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20 Things to get done in May

20 Things to get done in May

Autumn is the time for planting, pruning, mulching and getting things done in the garden.

If you are in the tropics and subtropics, now is your time to get those veggies sown that don’t cope with the heat of summer up there.

Here is the TOP 20 things to get done in your garden during May.

1. Time to trim up those shrubs that have finished their flowering during Summer and Autumn. Remove any dead branches, and prune others to produce nice fresh growth.

2. Frosts will be upon us soon, so if you have any pots that are frost sensitive, move them to a protected spot. Brick walls act as a heat bank for winter sun and can offer some protection. Also gathering pots together in clusters also helps.

3. In the veggie patch, cabbages, kale, caulies and broccoli all love to grow at this time of the year so get those seedlings planted. Remember to protect them from white cabbage moth by using our GeoFelt Bags or Veggie Netting.

Wilcox Weeder Dimensions - Stainless steel - Made in USA
2MM Woven Veggie Net 6MX6M

4. If you need to transplant any evergreen shrubs or trees, now is the time to do it. You will have the best chance of success if you keep as much of the rootball in tact as possible. Wrap it in hessian or a sheet and then drag or barrow it to the new location with your hole already dug. Be sure to stake the plant in the new position so that it doesn’t move about and can focus on getting its new roots out. Water with Amgrows Seaweed solution to reduce transplant shock. 

5. A new set of weeds may start appearing in winter from seeds that germinate based on the cooler temperature. Get in early and dig these out. The Wilcox weeder is a pleasure to use and will last many years. Stainless Steel - Made in the USA.

Wilcox Weeder Dimensions - Stainless steel - Made in USA

6. True Spinach (not Silverbeet) only grows well in the cooler month so be planting that now. Pick the leaves frequently and they will keep on producing. Great to have in salads and smoothies and high in iron. They aren’t too hard to get going from seed, so dig over part of your patch or some large planters, add some manure as they like nitrogen, and plant your spinach seeds about 15cm apart and 10mm deep.

7. Check on your compost bins. If they are getting a bit smelly, add some more dry matter. All those falling Autumn leaves would be perfect. You could also add shredded paper from the office, sawdust, straw or cardboard. To keep your compost heap aerated, use the long 324H model Power Planter every 1 - 2 weeks. It helps to break up your compost into a nice fine consistency and speeds up the composting process.

Power Planter 324H USA Made.  Dimensions How big is it?

8. Check over your pot plants. If some have been growing in the same pot for years, they will benefit from repotting with fresh soil. Tip them out, tease open all the roots and give them a light trim if needed and then repot with fresh potting mix that has fertilisers already mixed in. Depending on how vigorous the plant is, you may need to repot into a larger size pot. It should be pretty easy to work that out based on how dense the roots are in the old pot. If it looks like they have taken over and not much soil left, you definitely need to repot into a bigger one.

9. If you have Clivias, Agapanthus, Liriopes, Mondo Grass in your garden, it is the right time to be dividing these up. You could replant some of them in other spots, or give them away to friends and neighbours. I’ve also seen people sell them on Facebook Marketplace to locals.

10. Indoor plants may start getting brown edges on leaves as you start to change the heating in the house. Remember there is no such thing as an indoor plant. Only plants that cope with being inside because they grow in low light conditions. Use a spray mister to wet the leaves of your indoor plants when you have the air conditioner or heaters on. Any plants near the fireplace will need to be moved to another location over winter. If you live in a cold area, frosts can damage plants through windows so you may need to move them away from the glass.

11. Check over plants, particularly hedges for insect damage. Shell like lumps on the leaves will be scale and can spread throughout the whole hedge and lead to the deterioration of the plant. Treat by spraying White Oil in the mornings on cooler days.

12. Mothers Day Flowers will be on sale, but rather than buy a bunch that only lasts a week, get a Chrysanthemum plant instead. The flowers will last for a lot longer and you can have it displayed indoors or outside.

13. Lawn growth will start to slow down and to keep your lawn healthy you want to mow it on a higher settings during the cooler months.

14. Snails and Slugs will be active with the wetter weather. Snail baits are effective, but they can end up poisoning birds and blue tongue lizards who eat the snails. Better to remove the snails by hand at night with a torch, or use a beer snail trap. They love beer, get drunk and die very happy.

15. Plant lots of bulbs now. The soil temperature has cooled down enough and the bulbs will get off to a great start. At the Aussie Gardener Store we sell a variety of bulbs. We recommend getting at least 50 bulbs as they will look best if planted in clusters. Each cluster may contain 15-25 bulbs, so a pack of 50 will get used up pretty quickly. Bulbs grow best in Cool and Temperate zones.

16. Fig Trees - Prune them now. They don’t mind a good hard prune. Work on creating an open vase type shape so the sun gets to the branches. By pruning them back it will be easier to cover the trees with net once fruiting time comes around and your need to stop the birds eating them all.

17. Aerate your lawn using a Power Planter with a dabbing action so that it just bites in and then lift so it doesn’t dig in deep. If you have got bare patches, sow seed onto these areas and apply a wetting agent to make sure the water soaks in. Amgrows Wettasoil in granular form makes this easy. Just sprinkle it around.

18. Your gutters may be getting a bit clogged up with all the fallen leaves. Clear them out but don’t waste these leaves. Apply as a mulch on garden beds or add to them to your compost.

19. Trim hedges so they get a last flush before winter. This is especially important with Buxus (Box) hedges that can turn brown in winter if the foliage is older. The trick is to trim them now and the new flush will stay green all winter.

20. Gather firewood and split it up for your winter heating if you have a fireplace inside, but also ready for some great winter campfires out in the garden. Kids, big and small love to roast marshmallows on an open fire. Create a space for your campfire and let the family know of the planned get together. A great one for grandparents to do as well. You are walking in your children’s memories right now. Make them amazing.

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