Our garden expert Phil McCann will be keeping us informed about what's he's been up to each week in his garden with his Gardener's Diary. From how he's dealt with the weather each week brings to keeping an eye on that bird food thief, keep up to date with Phil and his gardening right here.

He'll also be keeping us up to date with all the gardening events which will be happening over the country, check in his diary and below to see what's happening near you this week. Keep an eye out, you may spot Phil there too!

Phils Diary may week 2

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Gardening events this week:

11 May - RHS Malvern Spring Show starts

13 May - West Kent Garden and Leisure Show starts

14 May - Rare Plant Fair, Winterbourne House and Gardens, Birmingham

To find out more visit the RHS website here

Top tips for May:

  • Support new shoots on climbers
  • Trim spring flowering shrubs
  • Protect summer bedding in baskets and containers from cold
  • Earth up potatoes and plant any leftovers straight away
  • Keep up general care: weeding, watering and feeding
  • Plant onion sets and garlic - it's not too late!
  • Mow lawns weekly
  • In the greenhouse, keep seedlings damp and shaded


An overview of May:

If you thought April was busy in the garden then May is even busier. There’s hardly time to draw breath between the greenhouse, veg patch and garden - but how good is it to be gardening and growing again? All young plants need protection from late frosts so keep an eye on the daily forecast. Fruit blossom buds are looking gorgeous and there’s fresh new foliage everywhere as the garden bursts into life.

Support new shoots on climbers

New shoots need tying horizontally into support which could be wires or trellis, this helps to encourage more flowering shoots along the stem. While you’re doing this, look for green and black fly on new shoots.

Trim spring flowering shrubs

Trim back fading flower stems by at least a third to a pair of buds to encourage new flowering stems for next year. Secateurs in hand check again for the 3 Ds – any dead, diseased or damaged stems - and cut hard back to ground level. Also remove any spindly or crossing shoots.

Protect summer bedding in baskets and containers

Baskets and containers planted up with summer bedding still need protection from cold nights; there’s still a chance of frost too. So, keep them in your greenhouse or a frost-free place. If they have to stay outside, cover them with horticulture fleece overnight.


New potato shoots should be through now. They also need protection from night time cold, so earth them well up.

General care

Keep weeding and keep watering newly planted trees and shrubs or anything you may have moved. Feed all plants with an all-purpose fertiliser.

Onion sets and garlic

It’s not too late to plant onion sets and garlic into soil raked to a fine tilth. Some say garlic is best planted in November, but a spring planting does just as well. Make sure bulbs are firm – if any are soft or mouldy, chuck them away!

Lawn Care

The lawn needs a weekly mow. Remove all cuttings with a lawn rake and remember to clean the mower after using it!


All your young tender plants need to be kept damp and shaded from mid-day sun. Dahlias and any perennials grown from root cuttings need to be potted into a bigger pot if roots are filling the pot they’re in. 

·         Mow lawns weekly

·         In the greenhouse, keep seedlings damp and shaded