Keep your garden looking its best all year round with a range of practical tips and helpful hints from our resident expert Aileen Atcheson

Going to school we loved to have flowers for the May Altar. However, May is not a month when flowers are plentiful. But there is a lot of blossom about.

Now is the time to plant up tubs, pots and window boxes. Lime-hating camellias and rhododendrons and heathers can be grown in ericaceous compost and indeed, blue hydrangeas too. They last in a big tub for years.

Most things will grow in containers, provided they get the correct soil and care. Summer bedding plants, petunias, daisies, begonias, the big tuberous ones and the trailing ones, especially suited to hanging baskets, interspersed with grey and silver foliage plants, will look lovely.

You must dead-head regularly, water, sometimes twice a day in warm weather, a whole watering canful at a time, if the container is sizeable, and feed once or twice a week.

From now on you need to mow your lawn twice a week. Set the blades fairly high. The closer you cut grass the more faults will be visible.

In spring and autumn, you should have scarified the grass. If you didn’t, do it now and make a note to do it in March or April next year. Scarifying means removing the thatch. A lot of thatch means water and rain won’t reach the grass roots. Weed regularly. By hand, if possible.

Watch the weather and when dry, feed your grass with Fisons Evergreen, about every three weeks. Then, if you don’t have rain having fed it, water it in, otherwise it will burn the grass, more than likely. If you have very bad weeds and a lot of moss, apply lawn sand. Then be prepared to sow new grass seed in the bald patches. However, if you don’t feed, water and cut the grass when you should, the moss will return.

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