Jobs to do in the Garden in May
By May, everything has started to bloom and increasingly sunnier and warmer days draw us outside. But of course, there is also more to do in the garden, such as keeping weeds at bay. Read on to find out some hints and tips for lawn care in the month of May.
Typically most people will cut the grass for the first time when the weather begins to get warmer, probably around March-April time as the grass really starts to grow.
Keep in mind that grass thrives best when it's cut about 1/3 of its length at any time, so mow the lawn at regular intervals. Robotic mowers do the hard work for you and mow little and often, so you don’t have to worry about when to cut the grass.
Under normal UK weather conditions during March to June you may only need to cut the lawn once or twice a month.
Mow in Lawn Stripes
Now that your lawn is the right height, this is the perfect time to add stripes to your lawn if you want them. Adding a stripe to your lawn is relatively simple. All you need is a lawnmower with a rear roller, like the EasiStore 340R.
Typically, rear rollers are found on rotary lawnmowers. Stripes are added to the lawn by bending the grass as you cut. This, in turn, changes the angle at which the light reflects off the grass blade, giving the impression that the grass is a different colour.
The colour that the stripe creates is dependent on how far you bend the blades of crass. The further you bend and flatted the grass, the darker and more intense the colour of the stripe will appear. Because the colours of the stripes are created by reflecting light, the colour may look different depending on where you are standing in your garden.
More tips on lawn stripes can be found in our "how to add stripes" article here.
Aerate Your Lawn
A lawn thrives best when it’s aerated to be dense and fine. Aerating helps to oxygenate the grass and improve drainage; water and nutrients penetrate to the roots and the grass grows more shoots. Do not do this too early as you risk damaging the grass while it’s sensitive, but wait until the grass has come to life and you have mowed a couple of times. If you have a robotic lawnmower, remember to mark where the guide cable is located to avoid boundary wire breakage.
An electrical aerator is not always necessary; when it comes to smaller lawn areas, a manual aerator is, for the most part, gentler and more effective since it is more easily manoeuvrable and simpler to use on smaller lawn areas.
Tips for successful aerating:
- Mow the lawn the day before if possible to a very short length
- Ensure the surface is clear of debris, moss and thatch
- Scarify in advance of aerating
- After aerating, fertilize and sow grass seeds if required.
- Use the correct equipment for the job.
What does aerating involve?
Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn. The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction.
Exactly how it works
When moss and matted grass have spread throughout the lawn and even yellow patches have formed, aerating your lawn is the ideal solution. It plucks the weeds out of the ground and ensures that the grassroots are provided with a sufficient supply of oxygen once again.
Aerating done right
Before aerating, your lawn should be freshly mowed and dry. Move the aerator quickly over the lawn in a chessboard pattern. The matted grass on the lawn may subsequently be raked together, and grass seeds can be sown over the bald patches.
When is the right time to aerate my lawn?
Aerating your lawn should be done every year at least once. You can aerate at any time but especially in the weeks leading up to you applying any fertilizer. You should avoid any times that may be leading to very cold or dry weather. Do not aerate if the ground appears to be frozen.
During spring planting, remember that May can still surprise us with cold spells. For this reason, most summer flowers and heat-sensitive vegetables such as tomatoes are only placed outside towards the end of May.
To prepare the soil for tomatoes, you can work horn meal into the earth. Tomato stakes are also placed into the ground. When the seedlings are finally set, plant the tomatoes deeply and slightly sloped to the lowest leaf shoot. This enables the stem to form additional roots.
May is the ideal time for thinning out tightly packed seedlings. To achieve this, excess weak plants are carefully removed by pulling the top of their roots. The remaining seedlings are surrounded by soil and pressed in gently. If seedlings are very tightly packed, we recommend undertaking this thinning in several stages and always pulling the weakest plants.
Once no more frost is expected, you can take your balcony and pot plants outside along with seedlings for annuals. Do not forget to water the plants regularly and feed them if necessary.
Annual sunflowers can now be planted wherever there is still space: Between shrubs, at the edge of woody areas or even in vegetable plots. But beware: Fresh plants are a real delight for snails. You should therefore collect all snails at night until the flowers have taken hold.