Monty Don shares 'important' gardening task to do this month for 'fast growth' and 'longer-lasting' flowers

Monty Don shares 'important' gardening task to do this month for 'fast growth' and 'longer-lasting' flowers

Experts share gardening tips

Royal Horticultural Society
Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 05/05/2024

- 13:01

Britons can start preparing their gardens now to ensure flowers are ready for summer

As the weather improves across the UK, it is the perfect time to get out into the garden and prepare for a beautiful display this summer.

Gardening expert Monty Don has shared advice for "fast growing" and "longer-lasting" annuals in your outdoor space.

He explained it is nearly time to plant annuals such as sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos and tobacco plants as this is best done in mid-May.

The expert shared the importance of "hardening off" the plants before planting them in the garden.

Monty Don / sunflower

He shares tips to help your flowers thrive


"Hardening off is important and will mean much faster growing and longer-lasting flowers," Monty said in his latest May blog.

"If you buy any of these annuals from a garden centre over the coming weeks, do not plant them out immediately.

"Put them in a sheltered place for a week to acclimatise to your garden, as they will probably have been kept sheltered for best retail display."

These plants can add a pop of colour and diversity to your outdoor space and it is best to plant these in sunny but sheltered areas.

He continued: "Space them about 12 to 18 inches apart in a sunny situation that is sheltered from strong winds and water them in well.

"As long as the temperature does not drop below five degrees they should grow strongly and flower well into autumn."

This comes as gardeners are told to use feeds high in potash as they can encourage "rapid and lush growth" in flowering plants.

Monty stated: “A weekly feed high in potash that will help promote root and flower formation is ideal.

Woman and daffodils

There are more gardening jobs to do as the weather improves


“I find liquid seaweed or a propriety liquid tomato feed to work well. The secret is to give just enough, and not too much.”

The Royal Horticultural Society added seaweed has been used to improve soil for hundreds of years. It said: “Seaweed contains several useful plant nutrients, including nitrogen, potassium, phosphate and magnesium.

“There are dried and liquidised forms available from garden centres and seaweed is a common additive to fertilisers both organic and non-organic.”

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