Terrace and balcony: The best tips in May

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In May we can finally enjoy the balcony and terrace and - if the weather cooperates - spend many hours outdoors. So that the potted garden blossoms in full bloom in summer, now some work must be done. In our gardening tips for the month of May, we have summarized the most important for you.

Plant flower boxes

After the icy saints you can plant your flower boxes with new balcony flowers. Make sure the boxes have enough volume, otherwise they will dry out very quickly, and use fresh, high-quality potting soil. A good height grading is important: upright growing species you put backwards and hanging balcony flowers forward so that they can grow undisturbed over the front edge of the box into the depth.
If you have ordered balcony or tub plants in the online garden center, you should unpack them immediately after arrival, provide them with water and place them in a not too sunny place. Ideally, the young plants are immediately transferred to the planters provided.

Gladioli pots can go outdoors

Bulb flowers, which only bloom in summer, may go outside from mid-May. Gadioles, flowerpots and dahlias, which are already in the pot, are standing in the house or greenhouse in a bright place to form leaves and shoots.


Plants from inside have to settle in outside. Avoid the sun for the first few days

Weed out garden furniture

Give your patio furniture a little refresher. Clean chairs and tables made of metal and plastic best with soapy water. Use a brush to remove any dirt from wooden furniture. Wood preservatives and oils (in the specialized trade) protect against weathering.

Sowing tendrils

Fast rankers like bell-vines and black-eyed Susanne can now be sowed. Leave enough space between the seeds, about 30 centimeters. As soon as the climbing plants shoot up, you should equip the vessels with climbing aids to guide the young shoots upwards.

Fresh air for indoor plants

Many house plants can spend the summer on the terrace or balcony, for example, green lilies, yucca, pentas or ornamental asparagus. With the clearing out you should wait however until after the Eisheiligen.

Plant mini-pond

Plant mini-pond

Many decorative, waterproof vessels give a nice mini-pond

Now in May is the best time to turn a zinc tub or a wooden tub into a mini-pond. tip: For leaky wooden vessels, there are waterproof plastic inserts in specialist garden centers. With craftsmanship, you can also provide low-priced plastic tubs or masonry tubs with a wood paneling yourself. For the planting of the mini-ponds in addition compact species of swamp iris (for example, Iris laevigata, Iris ensata), Herzblättrigem pike (Pontederia cordata) or broad-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), small-sized water lilies as 'Laydekeri Purpurata' (Nymphaea) in question. Also popular are water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) or water-lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) floating on the water surface. These tropical plants must be overwintered but frost-free.

Iron hungry summer bloomers

Some balcony plants have an increased iron requirement. These include petunia, elven flower, elven spur, magic bells, blue fan flower and marguerite. If possible, place these plants in a slightly acid potting soil, because in acid soil, iron is best available. Specialist retailers have special petunia soil with the necessary low pH. However, you can also produce a suitable substrate yourself: Mix balcony potting soil and rhododendron or hortensia soil in a ratio of 1: 1.

Cut back olive trees vigorously

Although they are often offered as tiny bonsai or compact stems, olive trees are by nature strong-growing fellows. Without a cut soon long, unbranched, so-called whip branches would disturb the picture. But if you want to keep the Mediterranean character trees permanently compact, you can reach a pair of shears several times a year: in February or March, in June and again at the end of August. Do not fertilize your plant after cutting - too many nutrients can cause leaf damage to olives. Our garden tip: If the olive loses its leaves, it has suffered from lack of water in the last two weeks. It responds only with a time delay to dryness.

Cutting olive tree

A regular cut keeps olive trees compact

Weed protection for pot bales

In order to germinate as few as possible weeds in the pots, you can cover the surfaces with expanded clay, bark mulch, coarse gravel, mussel shells or a round protective mat made from coconut fibers.

Strawberry varieties with ornamental value

In addition to tomatoes, mini-cucumbers and peppers, strawberries like the immortal variety 'Toscana' thrive on the terrace. Specially bred for pot culture, it grows well in sunny spots in hanging baskets, window boxes and larger containers. From June, the first sweet and juicy fruits ripen. Another plus is the decorative pink flowers. Strawberry seedlings are available from the garden shop from April to May. With the hanging growing new wild strawberry varieties 'Tubby Red' and 'Tubby White' you can make noses and decorate high stems in a decorative way. They are shade compatible, robust and hardy, convince with a wonderful aroma and can be planted until August.

Strawberry Toscana

With its pink flowers the strawberry 'Toscana' is very decorative

Repotting: Root wedge method for large potted plants

Anyone who already holds his potted plants in very large vessels can make do with the so-called root wedge method. It cuts out with a saw or a sharp knife from the root ball two to three "pieces of cake" out. To do this, you put two vertical cuts, which converge at an angle of about 30 degrees and meet two to three centimeters in front of the trunk of the plant. Then you put his copy back in the old pot and fill in the gaps with fresh, high-quality potting soil. Important: Never reduce the root ball completely by cutting all edges, otherwise too many important fine roots will be lost.

Clean clay pots

Used pots made of clay or terracotta often have lime efflorescence. The lime usually comes from the irrigation water and forms on the outside of the vessels more or less thick crusts, which are difficult to remove. However, this is quite simple with the following trick: Place your clay pot in a large water bucket and fill it with a solution of water and vinegar essence (ratio 15: 1). If you leave it on for one night, you can simply wipe the loosened limescale the next day with a cloth.

clay pots

Clay and salt settle on clay pots

Plastic or clay?

The choice of planters is not just a matter of taste. It pays off to balance different properties: clay is stable and absorbs part of the irrigation water, which cools the roots by evaporation on warm days. But this also leads to a higher water consumption. In addition, clay can - not only in frost - break and his weight when granting not hardy plants to handicap. Plastic is light, frost resistant, robust and saves water. The disadvantage is that especially smaller pots more easily overturn in wind.

Plant hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are a popular alternative to traditional hanging baskets, because the baskets are planted not only from above, but also from the sides with balcony flowers, so that in the course of summer real flower balls form. Now is the time to plant the baskets and hang them on the terrace.

Hanging baskets are a popular alternative to classic hanging baskets

Real eye-catchers are lushly planted hanging baskets

Maintain citrus plants properly

From mid-May, lemons, limes and Co. are allowed on the terrace. A good time to plant shrubs, but also to replant older ones that have become too small in the meantime - preferably in citrus or potting soil. Then either supply liquid fertilizer or slow release fertilizer once or twice a week. Always water citrus plants sufficiently with normal tap water - not with lime-poor rainwater, as recommended earlier. The plants need the lime to cover their high calcium needs. Optimal according to experts water with 15 degrees German hardness. Yellow leaf spots indicate a calcium deficiency.

Cut back the shrub bush

After the long winter the Red Hammerstrauch (Cestrum elegans) is looking forward to a little cure. Sprinkle the vigorous flowering shrubs in a new container with high-quality potting soil. From May, the plants can return to a partially shaded to sunny place outdoors. You need plenty of water and lots of fertilizer. An annual pruning keeps the vigorous hammer shrub in shape. Do not use the scissors in the spring, not in the fall. Also strong corrections to about 20 centimeters shoot length are possible.

Red hammer shrub

From June, the red hammer shrub shows its showy flowers

Underplant high stems

Buckthorn plant stems in a large plant pot look especially pretty with a flowering planting of summer flowers. It is recommended to place the high stems first in a larger container so that there is enough space between the edge of the pot and the root ball to use the summer flowers. Place the summer flowers on both sides of the tub and fill the gaps with soil. Press firmly and pour on. Provide fertilizer weekly.

Bougainvilleas: pruning for more flowering power

Bougainvillea, which belongs to the climbing plants, thrives with several shoots per year.Curious: Most sprout in spring, the first flowers before the leaves. Varieties such as 'Rosenka' change color in the course of flowering and at the end all "flowers" - in reality they are bracts - dry like parchment. At this point, each time sharply shortens the shoot tips. About a month later, new flowers are forming. Important: Be sure to give your bougainvillea a sunny spot and do not underestimate its water requirements: Fully leafed bougainvilleas are very thirsty!

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