How to grow It's time to: May

It's time to: May

Prune

Tidy up perennials.

Shape up evergreens such as shade-loving plectranthus

Prune grevilleas by 30 per cent.

Water

Stop watering frangipanis and succulents, which are now dormant and can rot easily in cold weather.

Prevent

Watch out for scale, which looks like hard spots, on camellia, citrus, figs. Spray with EcoOil.

Feed 

Feed winter crops.

Fertilise potted Cymbidium orchids with Strike Back for Orchids until the spikes are in bloom.

Harvest

Pick pumpkins with the stem to prevent rotting. Put fruit high on a shed roof, or on a table or bench, not the floor.

Prepare

Chill tulips and hyacinth bulbs in the crisper for a few weeks before planting out later this month.

Prepare the ground for deciduous trees arriving ‘bare rooted’ from nurseries next month. A large deeply dug hole with plenty of organic compost is ideal.

Order rhubarb, asparagus and artichoke.

Admire

Admire gordonia’s handsome glossy foliage and large ‘fried egg’ flowers of white petals with prominent yellow stamens. Gordonia is a low-maintenance tree for urban gardens, to about 5m.  

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About this article

Author: Linda Ross