What to Do in the Garden This Week - May 27th

Published on May 28th 2020
A garden in front of a water feature
As we slowly move into June and the longest day is on the horizon, it's time to plant out those star summer performers. I'm thinking of both edibles and ornamentals, especially those that need long days and some summer heat to thrive.

Candide Festival of Flowers

Join us this month to stop and smell the roses. We've been celebrating the importance of flowers, gardens and nature in general and how they benefit our well-being. To celebrate, we've created a flower-packed month of stories, guides and competitions. Stay updated on all things Festival of Flowers here:
Make your garden a show garden with our collection of plants featured in Hardy's Cottage Festival Garden:

What to do in the garden this week:

In the vegetable patch:

  • For southern counties, you can plant outdoor tomatoes, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers.
  • For hardier conditions, i.e. if your garden is at high elevation, in a low lying frost pocket or in the north of the British Isles, it's best to plant next month.
  • It's a good idea to protect young vegetables with tunnels or cloches to start with - even a plastic pop bottle upturned with the bottom cut off helps.
Learn more money-saving tips here:
  • Now is a good time to order slug nematodes to rid your plants of this pest naturally and safely. Concentrate usage on the most prone plants such as young vegetable plants, lettuce, courgettes and beans.
  • Have you had that horrible experience of biting into an apple or plum and discovered that it has a maggot in it - Eeek! Is it in your mouth or still in the fruit? The answer is to use pheromone traps for the apple and plum moth now. Hang them in the tree to capture the male moths. N.b. Separate traps needed for apples and plums.
  • Who doesn't love basil? Sadly basil doesn't really like our summers, so grow it in a very sheltered sunny spot. It may be best to grow in between your greenhouse tomatoes.
A sweet basil herb plant
  • Early potatoes will need the soil mounding up around them now. This prevents the light from getting at those delicious new spuds. There's still a chance of late frosts, so cover with horticultural fleece if forecast.
  • Sow turnips, kohlrabi, and swedes. The first two mature quickly so can be sown between other slower-growing veg. Swedes are slow to mature but are a good winter veg to grow, so give it some space.
  • Cauliflowers, leeks, purple sprouting, sprouts and other winter vegetables should be sown outside in drills now. Plant them into final position when large enough to transplant.

Other jobs for this week

  • If you haven’t done it already, install a rainwater butt. If you have, install another!
Read this article to learn more about how you can save water in the garden:
  • You can mix your grass clippings with drier materials such as shredded prunings, cardboard and newspaper to make the best compost. To start the process, add Garotta compost accelerator to each layer, and then turn and water heaps regularly.
  • This week, it will be beneficial to spread mulch in your veg patch, flower borders and around fruit trees, canes and bushes, to trap in moisture and minimise weed growth.
  • Before you rush to trim hedges, check carefully for nesting birds. Delay cutting until nestlings have left the nest.
A baby birds in a nest

Make sure your gardens in the best shape for the summer! Shop tools and equipment here.

Beds and borders

  • Make certain that heavy flower headed perennial plants, such as peonies, are well supported. Those huge blooms can fill with rain and bend over.
  • Tall perennials may need staking. Hollyhock and foxglove should be fine, but Delphinium, tall-growing lilies and oriental poppies will need help.
A delphinium flowers
  • Fill gaps in between bigger established plants with colourful bedding plants.
  • Plant bee and butterfly friendly plants in a sunny spot. Lavender and Ice Plants (Sedum/Hylotelephium) are hard to beat but there are masses of others including little rockery plants and herbs.
  • Early flowering Aubrieta and Alyssum saxatile needs cutting back hard when it has finished flowering. Give it a feed too. They will produce new growth soon and remain more compact if this is done every year.
Aubrieta in a flower garden
  • Plant out Cannas and Cosmos (Chocolate plant), Dahlias and Begonias. These will give you magnificent blooms right through until late autumn!

Shop for Begonias, Dahlias and Cosmos, supplied by independent UK growers, in our May collection.

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Lots to see

Follow and read AlanGardenMaster’s articles as he develops his new one-acre plot. PimlicoDan shows city gardening in a whole new light, or follow DaisyDays on her adventures in the allotment and as a professional gardener. Just a few of the many personalities you’ll meet in our app. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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