May Gardening with Big Jims



May is a great time to plant! There is still warmth in the ground and plenty of moisture. Planting now will ensure your plants are established before spring and the main growing season.


The Edible Garden

  • Strawberries – Late May onwards is the time to be planting strawberries. Strawberries like good fertile soil so dig in lots of top quality compost before planting. A handful of sheep pellets in the planting hole and a top dress of Tui Strawberry Food will get your plants off to a flying start. Remember to water in well after planting. Strawberries look great in strawberry pots on the deck - easy picking in the summer! For more information check out our ‘Strawberry’ growing guide.
  • Vege Garden - still lots to do in the vegetable garden this month.
    • Spinach, cabbage, winter lettuce, bok choy, should all be part of your winter garden.
    • Broad beans are a great winter garden crop - plant seeds now into prepared soil. Provide some support as they do get reasonably tall. Create your own structure out of bamboo stakes or use an obelisk. Broad beans are easy care and you will have delicious young beans in October / November.
  • Citrus and Feijoas: May is a fantastic time to plant your citrus and feijoas which grow fabulously in Taranaki conditions. Feijoa ‘Unique’ and ‘Den’s Choice’ are excellent to pair together providing an extended fruiting season. Lemon ‘Meyer’, Lime ‘Bearrs’ and Mandarins are our picks for your citrus and these do wonderful in pots and half wine barrels. For successful citrus and feijoas check out our growing guides.


The Flower Garden

  • Winter colour - plant out winter flowering annuals and potted colour now for great colour through the winter months.
    Potted colour varieties to look for this month include Pansies, Primulas, Polyanthus, and Cineraria.
    Plant seedlings of Alyssum, Kale, Stock, Calendulas, and Violas.
    Now is a good time to plant up winter hanging baskets and pots. Check out our ‘Hanging Basket’ growing guide on how to create show stopping baskets.

  • Flowering Camellias - Camellias are among the most handsome of the evergreen flowering shrubs-delicate, showy and worthy of a place in your garden. Camellias are very versatile, suitable for specimen planting, borders, hedges, containers, topiary or espalier. Low maintenance, easy care and long lived camellias will make a highly valued addition to your garden. Sasanqua Camellias are coming into flower now. These are early flowering camellias and are less susceptible to petal blights. Setsugeka with its crisp white petals and yellow centre and Yuletide with its deep pinky red flowers are excellent choices. Check out extensive range today.
  • Hedges and Shelter - give hedges a final trim and tidy up before winter.
    Plant out new hedges and shelter now - Corokia, Griselinia, Pittosporum, Buxus, Photinia, all make attractive, low maintenance hedges in the home garden.

  • Fragrant Daphne - who can resist the heady perfume of a Daphne bush in full flower? Plant now and enjoy the fragrance by your front door or on your patio. Daphne grow well in pots and containers but prefer partial shade.



  • Prune back shrubs that have finished flowering and feed with a fertiliser high in potash such as Rose fertiliser.
  • Lift and store dahlias and gladioli.
  • Plant Lily bulbs now.
  • Spray deciduous ornamental and fruit trees with Lime Sulphur. This stops lichen from growing and helps control overwintering diseases and insects.
  • Protect young seedlings from slugs and snails with Quash or Baysol snail pellets.