Thompson & Morgan

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What to sow and grow in the garden this month

What to sow and grow in May


Find out what to plant in May with our seasonal list of flowers, fruit, vegetables and seeds. These can be ordered now for sowing, growing and harvesting over the coming months!


Flowers to sow and grow


    in the 

greenhouse greenhouse  In the greenhouse / indoors


  • • If you struggle to grow delphiniums, try growing the annual larkspur for similar flowers.Start them off in pots in the greenhouse.
  • • For everlasting flowers for drying try sowing Helipterum indoors now.
  • • Brighten up your summer bedding by growing Salvia . Start them off indoors this month.
  • • Start to sow biennial plants in seed trays for transplanting later on. Grow foxgloves , sweet william and wallflowers for flowering next year.
  • • Sow perennial plants such as Delphiniums , Lupins , Aquilegia and Primula in seed trays now for flowering next year and for years to come!


  • direct sow outdoors seed packet  Direct sow outdoors


  • • Direct sow sunflowers where they are to flower now.
  • • Grow nasturtiums either in pots or directly outdoors in your borders and containers.
  • • Direct sow poppies , cornflowers and scabious to attract bees and butterflies to your garden. For more ideas on how to attract wildlife into your garden, click here.
  • • Try direct sowing godetias (Clarkia) for easy colour in your flower beds this summer.
  • • Direct sow candytuft around the edge of your beds for easy colour.
  • • Direct sow limnanthes to attract beneficial insects to your garden and vegetable plot.
  • • Try sowing linaria where they are to flower to fill your beds and borders with vibrant colour.
  • Nigella have most unusual shaped flowers with very attractive seed pods too. They can be direct sown this month.


Fruit & Vegetables to sow and grow


    in the 

greenhouse greenhouse  In the greenhouse / indoors


  • • Start off sweetcorn now in modules ready for planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Grow at least 12 plants for good pollination and cropping.
  • • Sow basil in pots for the greenhouse or patio - they thrive in warm conditions.
  • • Sow courgette , marrow , squash , and pumpkin seeds under cover now.
  • • Sow cucumber and gherkin seeds in individual pots or modules.
  • • Sow runner beans and french beans under cover, sowing individually into module trays for planting out after the risk of frost.
  • • Think ahead to winter cropping and start kale seeds under cover now.
  • • Sow seeds of perennial herbs under cover, such as rosemary , sage , thyme , lovage and lemon balm .
  • • Try sowing lettuce in module trays under glass for transplanting in the garden later. Alternatively sow direct outside and thin out the seedlings. Sow every 3 or 4 weeks for continuous harvesting.
  • Melons can be sown in individual modules now - try growing a variety suited to the British climate for the best crops, such as ' Orange Sherbert '.


  • in 

the cold frame cloches  In the cold frame/ under cloches


  • Cauliflower seeds can be started off now under cover. After planting them out make sure the soil remains moist.


  • direct sow outdoors seed packet  Direct sow outdoors


  • • Direct sow borage now and use the flowers for garnishing salads and desserts.
  • • Try growing comfrey in a neglected corner of the garden - it can be used to make fertiliser or for mulching, and is a rich source of nutrients. Direct sow or sow into seed trays indoors.


Fruit & Vegetables to sow

  • • Sow beetroot seeds thinly, directly into the ground.
  • • Sow broccoli and calabrese now in a nursery bed, for transplanting later on, or sow directly in your vegetable plot.
  • • Sow Brussels sprouts outdoors now.
  • • Direct sow cabbages outdoors now. Net them early on to prevent cabbage white butterflies laying their eggs on the leaves.
  • • Direct sow carrots in rows and protect with fleece or enviromesh to prevent carrot fly attack.
  • Chicory can be sown directly into the soil now.
  • • Sow herbs such as chives , coriander , dill and parsley directly into the ground or in containers.
  • • Try growing hardy corn salad outdoors (Lamb's Lettuce) for summer and winter salads!
  • • For something unusual try growing kohl rabi - it will be ready in as little as 8 weeks after sowing directly outdoors.
  • • Sow peas directly in to the ground or start them off in modules if mice are a problem.
  • • Try direct sowing nutritious Pak Choy every 3 weeks for a continuous crop.
  • • Direct sow your parsnip seeds now. Sow 3 or 4 seeds every 20cm and thin to the strongest plant.
  • • Sow radish seeds directly into the soil for quick and easy home-grown salad.
  • • Sow salad leaves directly in to the ground or in containers now.
  • • Sow spinach seeds in soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Try growing spinach 'Perpetual' if you have very dry soil.
  • • Sow spring onion seeds in drills outdoors for a quick crop to add to salads and stir fries.
  • • Sow swede seeds outdoors in a rich fertile soil for autumn and winter crops.
  • • Try Swiss chard sown outdoors for a colourful crop - they even look great in flower beds!
  • • Start to sow turnips now for a great addition to casseroles and stews.
  • • Grow your own watercress in containers, making sure the container is sitting in 2-3 inches of water at all times.