Ask the Experts on 0800 669 6326 or Contact us

Mon - Fri 9am-5:30pm Sat 10am-4pm Sun CLOSED

The best seeds to sow in May

May brings warmer conditions for sowing outside and transplanting seedlings.  From salad leaves to fruits and flowers, read on for our recommendations on what to plant for a flourishing summer garden. 

By May, the soil has warmed up and the risk of frost has passed – which means it’s safe to sow seeds directly in the garden. It's also the perfect time to harden off seedlings grown on windowsills and in propagators. To acclimatise young plants, place them in cold frames for a week before planting out – so they’re big enough to fend off slugs and snails more easily.


Rocket

  • Rocket is easy to grow and makes the perfect peppery addition to salads. 

  • You can sow it in pots or directly in the ground. 

  • We recommend using a small number of seeds and sowing a fresh harvest every two weeks, so you have a plentiful supply over the summer. 

  • Create a narrow trench and spread the seeds thinly and evenly. 

  • Cover lightly with soil and use a watering can with a rose head attachment to give the seeds a good drink without disturbing their position.


Gooseberries

  • Tart-tasting gooseberries are delicious in desserts and their bushes can bear fruit for around 15 years. 
  • They’re best started in pots and transferred to the garden in May.
  • If already flowering when planted, remove the flowers and provide extra water over the following weeks to encourage the plant to produce fruit. 
  • Our favourite varieties include Invicta, Pax, Whitesmith, Careless and Leveller.


Strawberries

  • There is nothing like picking fresh, sweet strawberries in the summer, and May is the last chance to ensure a reliable crop when planting in the ground.
  • Spacing is vital. Plant at least 35-45cm apart, so they have space to grow outwards and keep a 75cm distance between rows. 
  • Prepare the soil with compost or manure, create a small dip and lower the strawberry plants into position. 
  • Water well while they get established over the next few weeks. 
  • If space is limited, you can plant strawberries in pots throughout the summer. Just make sure you water them frequently as pots don’t retain moisture very effectively.


Cornflowers

  • Beautiful blue cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are great for borders and make excellent cut flowers. 

  • May is your last opportunity to sow to get flowers this year. 

  • Sow seeds thinly in a shallow trench and cover lightly with soil. 

  • Cornflowers are non-toxic, so make a safe choice if you have pets. They are also rich in nectar and pollen which makes them popular with bees.


Zinnia

  • Daisy-shaped zinnias come in every rainbow colour – with some growing up to 90cm tall with vibrant double flowers. 

  • Sow from fresh seed outdoors in May in a sunny spot into well-drained beds.

  • Store seeds (found just beneath the base of the petals) in an airtight container to sow again next spring.


Sunflowers

  • Sunflowers can be sown directly outside in May.

  • Because they take between 11-18 weeks to flower, it’s a good idea to sow seeds every few weeks so you can enjoy them throughout the summer. 

  • When sown directly in the garden they grow taller than when sown in pots, so may need stakes to support them. 

  • Happiest in a sheltered spot with lots of sunshine. 

  • Popular varieties include Russian Giant, Lemon Queen and Teddy Bear.

Related Articles on Gardening Calendar
Give your lawn a boost this spring

Spring is the best time to get grass growing again after its dormant period. From choosing the right equipment to repairing bare patches, follow our five steps and your lawn will soon be green, lush and ready for all the summer action ahead.

Read more
The best seeds to sow in April

As the days become longer and warmer, April is the perfect time to sow a wide range of seeds – straight outside into the soil, or under glass first if it’s still frosty. Read on for vegetable and flower recommendations, with tips on how to achieve the best results.

Read more
The best seeds to sow in March

There are so many stunning flowers that can be sown in March, sometimes it can be tricky to know which ones to choose. To help with your decision-making, we’ve collated a round-up of beautiful blooms to sow this spring.

Read more
Get your allotment spring-ready

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to get your allotment ready for sowing seeds. We’ve put together seven jobs to do in February, both outdoors and undercover. Then, when winter arrives, you can look forward to harvesting all sorts of salads and green veg, such as rocket and kale.

Read more
The best seeds to sow in February

As you wait for the weather to warm up, turn a few corners of your home into mini-indoor gardens. Here are five seeds to plant inside in February that will transform into delicious produce and beautiful flowers later in the year.

Read more
Garden around the seasons: the beginner’s guide
If you’re new to gardening, knowing what to do and when can seem daunting at first. To help you along the way, we’ve put together some tips on which tasks will help keep your garden flourishing – and examples of plants that best suit the season.
Read more
December in the Garden : Welcoming Winter

December already and where has the year gone? It seems to have passed in a flash!

This year saw many new gardeners appear as well as encouraging some whose passion my have lapsed over the years!

Read more
Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin
Search engine powered by ElasticSuite
How big is your Garden?
Draw around your lawn on the map to find the most suitable products.
Zoom in on your property. Click or tap to draw a path around your garden to measure the area.