Pot luck – seven steps for container gardening this May

Summer is finally on the horizon and with it hopefully will come some fine weather and the opportunity to spend more time outdoors.

But whether you have a country garden, a city courtyard or even a balcony or yard at your rental home you don’t have to think big when it comes to adding some greenery and colour.

With the threat of frost receding, May can be a great time to plant out a few pots at home.

You could start looking into seeds to sow that will liven up your space and perhaps provide some tasty treats for the kitchen too, and you can also think about seedlings.

Here are a few top tips for anyone considering getting stuck into a little seasonal container gardening this month, ready for summer flowers or fruit:

  1. Select the right containers

It is important to sow your seeds or seedlings in the right containers. If you want to keep them outside all year round, they need to be frost resistant. Make sure they are large enough to take the roots of whatever you are planting. Ensure they can drain properly. Check whether some plants should start in small pots and then be moved into larger ones a step at a time.

  • Consider your compost

Again, read your seed packet or seedling instructions carefully to make sure you are planting into the right kind of compost. Look at whether to add fertiliser – some slow release products can be ideal for summer blooms.

  • Think about drainage

As well as checking whether your container has adequate drainage you may wish to place some stones or broken pieces of terracotta inside at the bottom to prevent your potting compost from washing away.

  • Plant carefully

Make sure you plant seeds as instructed on the packet and that seedlings are put in place gently, carefully packed with compost and watered in. Leave a gap between the top of the soil and the container for water.

  • Grow veggies

Think about what you enjoy eating and then have some fun experimenting. Rocket will grow quickly if planted in May and will keep regrowing as its leave are picked. Courgettes, cucumbers and beans can also do well if planted at this time of year.

  • Add some flavour

Now could also be a great time to plant some herbs. Try dill, basil, rosemary, sage and thyme – start them inside or undercover if it still seems chilly out.

  • Plan summer colour

May is the perfect time to plant your sunflower seeds – and nasturtiums can also do well too. You could also try sweet peas for a glorious burst of colour during the summer months.