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May Newsletter

“You are as welcome as the flowers in May.”
      – Charles Macklin

The favourite month of many, May is certainly the time to go up a gear in the garden. Seeds can be sown direct, plants can be potted on, lawns can be mown and if we’re lucky and the sun shines, then watering will be a must. Being based here in south Devon we’ve seen the last of the frosts but for those of you further up country do keep some fleece handy for those more tender plants and fruit tree blossom.

The daffodils may have finished but tree blossom and many plants will be filling our gardens with colour. And one of possibly the best things about the month of May is asparagus – it’s ready to harvest!

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Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
  • Lawns will look better now for a weekly mowing. How about just mowing a path through longer grass and enjoying the dandelion, daisies, etc? The bees will love you for it.
  • May is the month when we can gorge on our homegrown asparagus. Apparently it is one veg that many people do only eat when in season.
  • Sow cucumber seeds this month, either singly in pots or direct, under cloches. Remember that they will need something to grow up if you want to avoid the fruits being munched by slugs.
  • Rhubarb will now be ready although first year plants are best left alone to mature. When harvesting rhubarb simply pull and twist, no knife is required.
  • Runner beans don’t just taste great but are decorative too. Sow them now and come July you’ll have vibrant flowers followed by tasting beans. Try growing them at the back of the flower border but make sure you can still get to them for picking!
  • Plant out dahlias and cannas – some direct in the ground and some in pots to move around and fill gaps.
  • Deadhead daffodils and tulips but don’t be tempted to cut the foliage down too soon. There’s an unwritten 6-week rule! A liquid feed will also help build the bulbs for next year’s flowering.
  • Put plant supports in place now before your perennials get too big and start to flop.
  • Vine weevils get active this month, so you need to do the same! Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer is a great solution – easy to use and long lasting.
  • Any containers and pots will now benefit from a liquid feed every 2 to 4 weeks and don’t forget that your citrus plants should by now have switched to summer feed.

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Summer Catalogue

Hopefully you have already received our 92-page Suttons Summer catalogue. If not, then do get in touch and we’ll whizz a free copy to you, or you can view the online version here. It’s your last chance to buy bedding plants and your first chance to buy some exciting newcomers, including our fabulous range of Mediterranean plants – just perfect for your patio.

The MasterChef Effect!

There is something immensely satisfying about producing a meal from homegrown produce. And now those meals can be stepped up a notch by adding some new foodstuff to your budding outdoor gourmet pantry.

If you were one of the millions glued to BBC MasterChef, then perhaps you were intrigued by the use of Tiger’s Milk? No longer is there simply a tiger in your tank, there’s also one in your cooking!

Leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk, is the Peruvian term for the citrus-based marinade that cures the seafood in a ceviche. To make your own Tiger’s Milk you simply need lime juice, sliced onion, salt, and pepper — oh and Suttons Peruvian Lemon Drop Chillies. Hot and lemony these chillies are available to buy as seed or plug plants and will certainly liven up any dish. Including one worthy of a MasterChef finalist.

Not only were the MasterChef finalist’s dishes unusual and tasty they were also beautifully presented. Borage leaves were used by several and certainly brightened up Alex’s dish of Marine Soil which included sea urchin, pickled cumber and stunning blue borage flowers. Grow Borage and the bees will love you, your garden will be beautiful, and your dishes will look amazing.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

It’s back! The 2017 show only just seems to have finished but the 2018 is about to start. No doubt many of us will be glued to the TV from 22nd to 26th May. And of course, some lucky Suttons customers will be there in person.

Happy Birthday Princess Charlotte

Princess Charlotte turns 3 today! We would like to wish her many happy returns and lots of juicy mulberries.

With Chelsea just around the corner we could not think of a better way for gardeners to mark Charlotte’s birthday than with the Charlotte Russe Dwarf Mulberry, winner of the RHS Plant of The Year in 2017.

This stunning Mulberry is also featured within the National Collection of Mulberries held on the Royal Estates. A total of 34 named varieties of Mulberry, including the Charlotte Russe can be found in the gardens at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Marlborough House, with a mirror collection held in the Royal Gardens at Windsor Castle.

Don’t forget too that the Charlotte Russe Dwarf Mulberry was the first ever edible plant to win the RHS Plant of The Year, so it really is a special specimen piece that you can treasure for a lifetime. This compact variety is perfect for any garden, is self-pollinating, hardy and will fruit in the first year.

No wonder it won the top award! And the good news is that, if you haven’t already bought one, we still have some Dwarf Mulberry Bush plants available. But we’re running out fast, so you’d better be quick!

Encouraging Wildlife

A silent garden may still be beautiful but somehow just doesn’t seem right. Birds a singing and bees a buzzing are needed to bring it to life.

Many gardeners will have been helping the garden birds by feeding throughout winter, but food shortages can occur at any time and the RSPB advice is to provide food throughout the year. High protein food is best in spring and summer as it helps sustain the birds through their moult and of course fresh water is needed to bathe in and to drink.

Super-Sized Summer Bedding

Left it too late to order plug plants or simply didn’t have the space to grow on all you needed? Never fear, we now have plants available in either 9cm or 2-litre pots. These are all ready to plant and will give instant effect to your borders, containers and hanging baskets.

Here’s just a few of the new varieties that we’re hoping you will love:

Osteospermum Erato Double Purple – Long lasting, trouble free summer colour tolerant to dry conditions.

Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy – With petals of deepest crimson the stunning blooms are perfect for cutting and filling those vases that are lurking in the cupboard.

Marguerites – The ultimate in colourful yet carefree gardening and now available in 5 gorgeous colours

Begonia Big DeluXXe Rose – Bronze foliage with rose-coloured flowers each plant can reach a height of 60cm and spread of 50cm. So, perfect for containers or for planting en masse.

 

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