May Gardening Guide

We are now in the last month of autumn and there is plenty to keep busy in the garden. In the fruit garden, the harvest period is coming to a close for pip and stone fruit and is just beginning for feijoas. It's also the last chance to get your bulbs in the flower garden before winter, and a great time to plant new winter veges in the vege patch!

What to plant in May

In the vegetable garden

Plant

Dig in Tui Compost and Tui Super Sheep Pellets before planting to replenish nutrients used by previous crops.

This month you can plant the following: beetroot, bok choi, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cavolo nero, celery, coriander, garlic, kale, mesclun, onion, parsley, peas, radish, rhubarb, rocket, rosemary, sage, silverbeet, spinach, thyme.

For more veges to plant in your region, check out our planting poster and calendar here

Harvest

It's time to harvest the last of your summer and autumn crops including beetroot, bok choi, broccoli, capsicums, carrots, courgettes, cucumber, kale, leeks, spring onions, sweetcorn.

Maintenance

  • Pumpkins - pick pumpkins in areas where you want to get rid of vines, as they can take up a lot of room. Cut the stalk from the vine, leaving the handle-type stem on the pumpkin. Store somewhere dry off the ground.
  • Herbs - protect tender herbs like basil from the cold to prolong the harvest - cover with frost cloth or something similar in the evenings.
  • Lay Tui Quash to control slugs and snails eating your seedlings.
  • Feed herbs and winter greens once a month with Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic.

In the fruit garden

  • Pick feijoa, quince, apple, pear, rhubarb, passionfruit.
  • Harvest nuts: almond, chestnut, hazelnut and walnut.
  • Plant evergreen, frost-hardy fruits such as feijoa and Chilean guava. See the Tui Feijoa Growing Guide for more information. Remember fruit requires a position in full sun. Shelter from prevailing winds is preferable.
  • Remove runners from strawberries. Once removed, plant into a coir pellet or into some potting mix to grow the roots and then plant into your garden once roots are established.
  • Collect and compost any rotting fruit from under fruit trees.
  • Aphids, whitefly and scale insects may be about, blast off with a hose, apply warm soapy water or select a suitable spray at your garden centre.

In the flower garden

  • Mother’s Day is one of the highlights of May. Giving and receiving plants and flowers is a wonderful way to acknowledge someone special.
  • Last opportunity to plant spring bulbs before the soils get too cold.
  • Pick Leucadendron, flowering kale, dianthus, roses, Peruvian lily, poppies, Marguerite daisy, statice, Japanese anemones, Erica.
  • Apply Tui Bulb Food to bulbs already in the ground.
  • Apply a side dressing of Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser to shrub borders and flower gardens.
  • Plant cyclamen, bellis, calendula, polyanthus, flowering kale, primula, pansies, violas, poppies, snapdragons, wildflowers, cineraria, winter roses – Hellebores, Leucadendron.
  • Prune summer flowering shrubs and trees that have finished flowering.
  • Save and dry seeds of summer flowers for sowing in the spring.

Tui Tips

Click here for more garden tips

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May Gardening Guide Comments

  • When woudl be the right time to lift my dahlia bulbs.This summer was my very first attempt at growing them and had an amazing display. this summer.I need to lift them as I have a lot of daffodil bulbs that need to go in their area. How do I store them. Would really appreciate some advice

    Ellen

  • Hi Ellen, autumn is the best time to lift bulbs. Gently ease a fork under the bulbs and wriggle the bulbs out of the soil. Remove all the soil from the bulbs, and cull out any that are soft or rotten and store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and protected from mice. Bulbs store really well in mesh sacks. When ready, re plant into Tui Bulb Mix back into the soil with an addition of Tui Bulb Food. Thanks, Tui Team.

    jenna

  • I thank you for your monthly catch email about what to plant and do each month it helps me out a lot Cheers Dawn Burrell

    Dawn Burrell

  • Hi Dawn, you're welcome. Thank you for your feedback. Enjoy autumn in the garden, Tui Team

    jenna

  • If I planted a small Fejoa now how long would it take to fruit,we face south in Onehunga Auckland?

    Barbara

  • Hi Barbara, feijoas take 2-3 years to fruit. There are self-fertile varieties available, however all feijoas will produce heavier and more regular crops if pollinated by other fejioa varieties. Read more in our Feijoa Guide here: http://www.tuigarden.co.nz/howtoguide/feijoa-growing-guide ^Tui Team

    jenna