We all know gardening is seasonal but what to do and when? The Sunday Gardener's monthly calendars are a month by month guide as to what's going on in the garden, what to do and when. The Calendars are a seasonal guide because, as always the weather, is the final arbitrator of what we can do in the garden. Recently our weather has been very unpredictable, making gardening harder. The seeds packet may suggest to plant out in May but it all depends on what type of May we are having, and where you garden in the country.
Spring comes very early in Cornwall and the West country, and much later in the North of England and Scotland which changes gardening in the different areas.
Gardening can also be effect by the aspect of your garden . Very few have the luxury of a walled garden seen mainly in Stately home gardens, and which affords great protection to everything growing in the garden. Wind can be very destructive especially in early spring when it is chilly, and a south facing garden will fill with more warmth from the sun. You will know the lay of your own garden but the weather remains unpredictable. What ever it says on the packet, TV or in magazines, when gardening it's what it feels like outside that matters. Plant out summer bedding at the wrong time in May, maybe when its turned cold and damp, and the plants can sulk for weeks. One year it hailed immediately after I planted out the summer bedding and it took weeks to recover. Gardening Calendars are only a guide as to what can be done and when.
Irrespective of the weather or seasons, it is important to know which plants and vegetables are"frost hardy" and which are not. For an explanation about "hardy" follow the link. The gardening veg pages give detailed advice about growing vegetables and as May is a busy month in the veg plot the gardening calendar for May has detailed advice when to plant and which vegetables are hardy. Just like plants, not all vegetables are hardy and plant out too soon, and the frost can cause damage young plants.
In our gardens we like to grow a mix of plants and shrubs check out all about shrubs for gardening ideas, and for those difficult place in the garden, plants for shade has ideas for easy to grow shade plants.
Gardening shouldn't be all about hard work. Shrubs and plants are colour coded and pick the plants labelled with a green wheelbarrow which means they are easy to grow and low maintenance. There are gardening tips to save time and avoid easy mistakes take a look at How to Beat the Slugs and other gardening tips and veg gardening tips