May is one of the prettiest times in the garden. To keep it beautiful, you’ll just need to get out there and enjoy some time in your garden.
Vegetable and Flower Garden:
- You should have pulled up your Pansies by now and replaced them with summer annuals such as Petunias, Begonias, Vinca, Angelonia, Geraniums, Lantana, Caladiums and Coleus, just to name a few of the hundreds of varieties of beautiful annuals. If you’re using a water soluble fertilizer, apply every two weeks. Fertilize annuals with a granule fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.
- Annual vines can provide vertical interest, but you should add a trellis to give them support. If you’d like a tropical look in your garden, add Cannas, Elephant Ears, and Caladiums.
- Deadheading perennials will help promote new blooms. Fall blooming asters and mums should be cut back by half this time of the year, as this will prevent them from becoming leggy.
- Fertilize vegetables when the root system has established and the plant has grown 3-6 inches. Fruit trees also need some fertilizer. Keep a watch out for fireblight on apple and pear trees, which shows up as blackened leaves at the ends of limbs. Thin out the fruit on peach, apple, plum, and pear trees; they should have 50-70 leaves per fruit. Immediately prune diseased branches and sterilize your pruners between cuts.
Shrubs and Trees:
- Monitor trees and shrubs for insect and disease infestations. As the temperatures warm up and it remains dry, spider mites will be more active. Crape Myrtles may show signs of powdery mildew (a white powdery substance on the leaves); the tree can tolerate a small amount of powdery mildew, but treat with a fungicide if you think the tree is severely infected.
- Bonide makes a quality once-a-year treatment for many tree & shrub insect and disease problems.
- Prune flowering shrubs after they finish blooming.
- When plants are stronger they can fight insects and diseases better. Apply a quality fertilizer according to package directions.
- Mulch helps keep the roots a little cooler in summer months, helps retain water, and keeps weeds down. Apply a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs and flower beds for a clean, finished look.
- If you haven’t fertilized your lawn yet, go ahead and do it now. If you are maintaining your lawn yourself, stop by The Family Tree and pick up a lawn calendar for your type of lawn. This tells you when you should fertilize and apply pest control.
- Keep fire ants under control. A good method is to treat the whole lawn with fire ant bait and then a couple of days later treat individual mounds. Be sure to read the directions, more is not always better.
- Check the height of the blades on your lawn mower, as this needs to be adjusted as the season progresses, and make sure the blades are sharp.
- If you are going to aerate your lawn, this is best done a few days after it has rained and when there is no rain in the forecast for several days.
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