Welcome to our May newsletter! As the crisp days of late autumn unfold, it's tempting to slow down in the garden, but now is actually a great time to plant. The cooler temperatures, frequent gentle rains, and ample sunlight create perfect conditions for new growth. Check out our recommendations for seeds and plants that do well in May, including strawberry runners, seed potatoes, and flowering bulbs.

Happy gardening from everyone at The Seed Collection!

May Garden Tips

Mulching: May can see the first frosts of the year in cooler climates, so it's time to start protecting vulnerable plants. Adding layers of a natural mulch will help trap warmth in the soil, blanketing the roots if the temperature takes a sudden dip. Mulching will also help keep dried surface soil from washing away in a sudden autumn rainfall.

Collect Leaves: Fallen leaves make an ideal mulch, but they're also a great addition to your compost heap thanks to their high nutrient levels and ability to improve soil structure. For the best effect, shred the leaves finely before mixing them in to speed up composting.

Support Taller Plants: The chance of harsher weather means taller plants may need some support, using canes, stakes, or a trellis.

Seaweed Feed: For many plants, growth may be slowing down or even becoming dormant. But for those species that stay active over winter, a feed with a seaweed solution can promote stronger root growth, and help protect them against pests and frost during the colder months of vulnerability.

Weed Control: Increasingly wet weather means many weeds can seize their chance and grow rapidly out of control. Keeping on top of weeding will not only reduce the competition for your young and established plants, but will also prevent the weeds from self-seeding and making even bigger problems for next year. And you don't need to waste the weeds you've cleared: try making a weed tea to feed your plants over winter, returning the weed's stolen nutrients back to the soil.

Prepare for Tree Planting: It's nearly time to plant bare-rooted trees, so if this is in your plans, prepare their spots now by digging plenty of organic matter into the soil. Water well, cover with mulch, and the earth will be rich and fertile by the time you put the trees in their beds.

Cabbage Moths: If you grow brassicas, be particularly alert around now for signs of cabbage moth infestation. May is prime egg-laying season, and the hatched caterpillars can lay waste to young crops almost overnight. Inspect your plants daily, and consider using preventative control measures including netting or an organic caterpillar spray.

Slugs and Snails: The retreat of summer heat and the increased moisture levels mean that slugs and snails are in their element, which can spell bad news for tender young seedlings or juicy salad leaves. Setting up beer traps is an eco-friendly way to control numbers, while organic pellets or natural nematode treatments can be useful for more serious situations.

Take Cuttings: Lastly, May is a perfect time to take cuttings of hardwood herbs such as rosemary, lavender, or sage. Rooting can sometimes be a slow process, but taking cuttings now gives plenty of chance for the new plants to establish before transplanting when the weather warms.

Depending on your local climate, winter can mean your garden's growth slows down a little or takes a break entirely. But either way, May and it's gentler conditions is a great time to get your garden in shape.

May Planting

Seeds to Sow in May

Our comprehensive list of seeds to sow now includes all the vegetable, herb and flower seeds suited to planting in your climate in May. Highlights include peas, broad beans, radish, mustard, lettuce, onions, cornflower, gypsophila and carnation.  Browse the full list for each climate here.

Strawberry Runners

Fresh strawberry runners have arrived! Easy to grow and perfect for the garden, we offer 4 delicious varieties. Enjoy the taste of freshly picked strawberries right from your backyard. Get yours now and start growing! Browse strawberry runners here.

Seed Potatoes

Seed potatoes can be planted immediately in warm climates, or sprouted indoors in cooler climates ready to plant later in winter. You can grow potatoes in a garden bed or in potato grow bags to make harvesting the tubers easy. Browse seed potatoes here.

Flowering Bulbs

Spring flowering bulbs can be planted in all but tropical climates during May through to the end of June, so there's still plenty of time to plan and plant for spring flowers. Flowering bulbs are easy to grow and require very little maintenance once established.  Browse all flowering bulbs here.


Our selection of shallot bulbs, including Red, Banana, Golden, and Potato Onion varieties, is still available. Each type offers unique flavours perfect for any dish. Browse all shallots here.

peas growing