May in the Garden

May is here and with it an abundance of new colourful flowers in bloom to give us all a much-needed lift. Here’s how you can make use of the extra time at home:

Dividing Perennials

Dividing your perennials is a fantastic way to fill your garden with colour, and allows you to do so without having to leave your home.

Some great perennials to divide in May are primroses, aubrieta, aurinia, and phlox subulata. Depending on the size of the plant you are dividing you can make up to 4 more plants. It’s also very healthy for plants that may be beginning to struggle. Here’s how to divide your perennials:

  1. Dig your perennial plant out of the pot or the ground
  2. Place your spade in the centre of your perennial and cut through the plant
  3. Once you’ve divided the plant, repot each section
  4. Voila, you have now created multiple plants from just one
Dividing perennials step by step
Dividing perennials step by step

Moving Summer Bedding Outdoors

Plants that are raised indoors tend to be delicate and before they are planted outside they need to adapt to cooler conditions that they are bound to face outdoors or “harden off”.

May is deemed to be the ideal time to harden off plants. Bring your plants out from the greenhouse during the day and bring them inside once it becomes cooler in the evening. We recommend doing this for about a week or so, gradually increasing the amount of time you leave the plant outdoors.

After this, you can start leaving the plant outdoors overnight, provided you cover them with a protective fleece so that the plant does not become damaged by the cold. Once they’ve hardened off and frost isn’t forecasted for any time in the near future, you can start to plant them outside.

Plants raised indoors should be brought outside to harden off around May- Source: Unsplash
Plants raised indoors should be brought outside to harden off around May- Source: Unsplash

Plant a Hanging Basket

If you want to start planting hanging baskets, May is your last chance if you want to have your plants in bloom before summer.

Petunias, fushias and geraniums all work great in a hanging basket, but really it’s up to you. Obviously there are certain guidelines such as keeping the taller plants in the centre, but after that a hanging basket is a great way of bringing some of your favourite plants together in a small space.

Check out the below video for more advice on planting hanging baskets!

Grow a Herb Garden

What better way to add that extra kick to summer dishes than by growing your own herbs? Creating a herb garden is quick and simple and is the ideal “grow your own” project for May. Here’s how you can get started:

  • Drill a drainage hole in a large pot or container
  • Add some cracked pots to further improve drainage
  • Fill the pot with multi-purpose compost
  • Choose whichever herb plants you’d like to cook with
  • Secure the plants with another layer of compost and cover the roots
  • Water regularly and pick your herbs off the plants whenever you need them!

Treat Lawns for Moss

If moss starts to become a problem on your lawn, Mo-Bacter is the best solution. Mo-Bacter is an organic product. It is a bacteria that eats the moss off of your lawn and protects it from new moss growth, as well as feeding your lawn.

Mo-Bacter is effective for up to 100 days but is only effective in temperatures above 12 degrees Celsius, as this temperature will activate the enzyme.

Collect Rainwater

On the topic of hanging baskets, ensure they are being watered correctly by collecting rainwater. Rainwater is also very healthy for bedding plants in potted containers, window boxes or any other plants in your garden. Plants need regular watering now that we’re approaching the summer, and rainwater is the best water to use in any of your plants.

Water Butts are the best way of gathering rainwater to use when watering plants. Simply dunk your watering can into the water butt to fill it. Gathering rainwater with this is far better than using tap water as tap water contains many chemicals, fluorides and salts which can be harmful to the plants.

If  you don’t have a water butt available to you, a barrel or even a bathtub can be just as effective!

A DIY Water Butt- Source: ThriftyFun
A DIY Water Butt- Source: ThriftyFun

Share with us!

If you have any questions dividing perennials, summer bedding, or collecting rainwater, contact us on social media- @CountryLifeGC (Links in footer). If you have a specific problem such as pest damage it’s really helpful to send us a picture- we’d love to help!


All products mentioned in the above blog can be bought on or in you local CountryLife branch. To find your nearest store click here.

Charcoal Hanging Basket 35cm

Made from light weight polypropylene, this hanging basket is extremely easy and safe to work with. It comes with UV protection meaning it will hold it’s original colour and finish for many years to come and also has a frost resistant additive to ensure it will never crack in extreme cold weather conditions.

Price: €23.95

Garden Lake Water Butt Kit 200L

This attractive wood grain effect tapered shaped water butt allows you to harvest rainwater from any roof. The kit includes a stand, downpipe diverter, hose-connector tap, and a child-safe locking lid. The water butt is manufactured from at least 75% recycled content and comes with a 5 year guarantee. 

Price: €79.95

Fiskars Light Digging Spade

The Fiskars Light Digging Spade has a pointed cutting edge for easier penetration to soil. It is ideal for light digging in normal and soft garden soil. This spade is easy and convenient to use in tight spaces and small vegetable gardens because of the lightweight aluminium body and smaller size. With a D-handle for user comfort and a soft grip to insulate from cold, it is comfortable to use.

Price: €39.95