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Gardening by Month

Gardening in May

Warmer days are here, and what could be better than spending more time in the garden? The sounds, the smells, the feeling of grass under your feet and dirt in your hands. There are a number of physical and mental benefits of gardening, find out more what gardening can do for you in our guides:

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Bedding Plants

You can turn your beds and pots into a riot of colour with the right plants, with warmer weather to help them grow fast. Always plant a good block of plants together so that they really stand out, allowing them a little room to grow. Petunias produce a multitude of flowers, and they are really not hard to grow, they like sun, and will flower for you all summer. It’s also a good time of year to plant dahlias, dianthus, osteospermums and fuschias.

Pot of the month

For a long-lasting pot plant, why not combine a cordyline with a heuchera and a carex? All of these plants are evergreen, and come in a variety of colours and sizes – you won’t have to do anything to it and it will look good all year round.

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Perennials and Shrubs

Why not think of planting some flowers that bees love, there’s nothing better than the sound of bees going about their work? Nepeta or catmint is easy to grow – put a group of three or four together, and they’ll soon be covered with lilac flowers and bees! Other plants that bees love at this time of year are lupins and poppies – they are easy to grow and come back year after year.

If you want all year round colour in your garden, plant an euonymus – it’s an evergreen plant, that comes in a variety of shades of green and yellow. They grow to a height of about one metre, and you can build a bed around them.

Fruit and Vegetables

Our potato guide will tell you all you need to know about growing spuds, which are as easy to do in a pot as they are in the ground. 

Now is also a good time to get some fruit bushes in – plant some raspberries now, you’ll get a reasonable crop in the first year, and good crops every year after.

About

The potato is a cool-season vegetable that ranks with wheat and rice as one of the most important staple crops in the human diet around the world – especially Ireland! So why not start your own homegrown supply? Potatoes withstand light frosts in the spring and can be grown throughout most of the country in the cooler part of the growing season.

There are more than 100 varieties of potatoes. White-skinned (Queens, Home Guard) and red-skinned (Roosters). Garden varieties offer better taste, texture, and cooking quality for home use. 

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Spring is properly here, with longer days and milder weather, and it’s the perfect time to get going in your garden! This is a good time to do the first cut on your lawn.

Why not try something different this year, and set your mower blade higher? It should mean you have to cut your lawn slightly less often for a start, and your lawn won’t look quite as pristine because you may find clover starting to spread.

Clover is brilliant for bees though and is just as nice to walk on as grass. You are also less likely to have moss growing in your lawn as the taller grass shades it out.​

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Bedding Plants

 

There is still a risk of frost until well into May, so stick to frost hardy bedding plants like pansies, violas and carnations, that will add a lovely splash of colour to your garden. They work as well in pots as in your flower beds, or even as hanging baskets.

Pot of the month

Sometimes, simplicity is the best, and planting one plant in a pot can be really striking. For some lovely seasonal colour, why not try planting a senetti – they give you a fantastic burst of colour. To make sure you get the best value of them, pinch off the flowers once they are done, as that sends a signal to the plant that it has to make more flowers!

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Perennials and Shrubs

A fantastic addition to your garden is a perennial wallflower, (Erysimum) of which  ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is one of the best known. This is an easy to grow plant that is nearly always in flower, and bees love it, so what’s not to like about it.  It’s one of those banker plants that you can build your garden around, and you get them in a range of colours too. Fleabane (Erigeron glaucus 'Sea Breeze')  also fits in to the ‘must-have perennial category’ for your garden as well, it’s evergreen and flowers all summer. It likes a sunny spot. Other plants to get in at this time of the year are phormiums (for height) and heucheras, whose colourful leaves in a variety of colours brighten up you garden in groups of 3-5.

Fruit and Vegetables

Here are some ideas of what to  plant in April: (insert the links for these three crops)

  • Strawberries – They grow better at this time of year under cover, and work well in pots or in the ground.

  • Lettuce – they only take about six weeks from planting seedlings – you could do them in a hanging basket too if you wanted to be fancy!

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Gardening in March

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  • This is a good time to plant hedging such as beech, laurel, privet etc.  Prepare the ground by digging thoroughly and adding some compost if soil is poor or heavy clay.

  • Now is a good time to move plants in the wrong place. Don't forget to water well during dry spells . Treat as a new plant.

  • Cut back ornamental grasses before they start to grow.

  • Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials.

  • Start chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes. Place them in a light but frost-free place.

  • Prune apple and pear trees to keep them tidy.