PbDToDo May

To Do in MAY:  Time to Dig In!

Finally the month of May is upon us and the gardening season is in full swing. You could work in the garden from sunup to sundown all month long and still not get everything done that you wanted to.  So here’s a list to help you prioritize.

Be ready to water as needed, especially in the vegetable garden. Most landscape plants need an inch of water per week (either from you or Mother Nature).

Get out there and plant something. This is an ideal month to start a vegetable or flower garden project. We have a long, forgiving growing season, so it’s not too late. Select easy-to-grow plants that love hot weather.

Mulch to feed the soil and discourage weeds. Only two cautions:  don’t pile it up too deeply (2 inches is plenty), and don’t pile mulch up against the trunks of your trees.

Turn spring compost piles. Keep adding green material (spent pansies, finished mustard greens, etc.) to the compost heap.

Prune spring bloomers as they finish blooming. Deadhead roses to encourage more blooms and apply an organic fertilizer. Watch for signs of fire blight in pears and apples, and cut off infected branches following Cooperative Extension advice, dipping your shears in bleach or alcohol between cuts. Dispose of branches by burning or bagging and tossing.   Don’t leave them on the ground or put them in the compost.

For larger fruit, thin peaches, plums, and Asian pears to 4 to 6 inches apart.

Try some annual flowers, from amaranth to zinnias. Don’t forget summer bulbs, including gladiolus, crinums and tuberoses, and foliage plants such as coleus and Caladium. Plant moonflower (Ipomoea alba), caladium, coleus, zinnia, and other heat-tolerant flowers.

Move indoor plants out to the porch, patio or front stoop. Fertilize them with a mild, liquid organic fertilizer.

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