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Christchurch Florists May Flowers

May is the month that completes the transition from the
balmy days of autumn to the cold of winter.
Many plants relish this change of season.

Flowers to sow in May Paper daisies

Sow seeds of pink paper daisies now and, before you know it, you'll have a meadow of soft pink flowers. Paper daisies are hardy, undemanding and make long-lasting cut flowers. Best of all, in warmer areas, they can be sown right where they're to grow, which saves fiddly transplanting (in cold climates it's best to start them in pots or wait until spring).

Vegies to sow in May Broad beans

Broad beans grow easily from seed but there are three special things you should remember about these cool season vegies:

  • 1. The pods of broad beans won't develop until the weather starts to warm up in spring.
  • 2. Pods should be picked when they're young and tender don't let them get old and tough.
  • 3. After harvest, dig the nitrogen-rich plants in to improve the soil.

Feed in May

Finish planting spring bulbs this month and look out in the shops for bulbs of some of the later- blooming varieties such as liliums and callas. Dig bulb food or organic Biogold pellets into the soil before planting. Debate always rages about the wisdom of feeding bulbs at planting time, with many people saying that the bulb can get by on the goodness stored up from the previous year. But if you're planning future performances, any added nutrition will help get the bulb into top shape for next year's blooming.

Prune in May

This month provides you with a great opportunity to tidy up the garden before winter arrives. Cut back anything that's dead or messy-looking. Prune sasanqua camellias and gordonias after flowering.

Pest watch in May

Cooler weather doesn't deter snails and slugs in fact they love this time of year. They'll come out at night looking for tender new growth and they're particularly fond of emerging bulb shoots. Sprinkle Blitzem or Baysol lightly around vulnerable plants. If you're worried about pet safety, look for the Blitzem Granules.

Garden job file

May is moving month. Many of the smaller shrubs (such as azaleas, hebes and gardenias) can be transplanted this month. It's a good time, too, to move conifers. All will than have plenty of time to settle into their new homes before the cold winter arrives.

Before moving prepare the soil well in the new spot and, once the plant's in place, water well. Concentrate on making sure the water gets into the root ball it's sure to want to run off to the soft soil at the sides.

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