Jobs to do this May

Grow your own this summer. Tomatoes, peppers and aubergines are easy to grow in pots on a sunny patio. Buy young plants now and out outside after the last frosts.

Once this year’s polyanthus and primroses have finished flowering, dig up the plants and divide them into smaller sections. Replant these in a shady part of the garden for an even bigger and better display next year.

Compost heaps can get swamped with grass clippings during the summer and often go stodgy and smelly. To stop this, add layers of shredded or scrunched up balls of newspaper when emptying the grass onto the heap.

It should be safe to plant out tender bedding including geraniums and fuchsias in all but the colder parts of the country this month. Water them in with Flower Power to help them establish faster.

For the loveliest looking lawn, try to mow it twice a week – cutting little and often is much better than taking off lots every 7 – 14 days.

Keep borders free of weeds by hoeing once a week, or by covering them with bark chips. Even better, use a planting membrane which will stop weeds (like couch grass and  ground elder)  for up to 20 years.

Keep sweet peas well watered or the buds may drop off in dry weather. Once they start blooming, pick them regularly to produce even more flowers during the summer.

Re-pot overgrown houseplants into slightly bigger pots. Use fresh compost and water them in well.

If your pond is turning green , try to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching it by planting water lilies or other floating aquatic plants. Ideally, you should cover between a third and a half of the surface of the pond .