May Gardening Tips

potting-dianthus-7315771Edited from The Farmer’s Almanac

– Tend to your rose garden. Trim climbing rose bushes and attach them securely to fences or trellises. To deter slugs, spread a thick ring of crushed eggshells around your roses. Continue fertilization of your rosebushes with applications of liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.

– Continue weeding and mulching routines to give young plants in your garden a great start.

– Start an herb garden either directly in your garden, or within a container. Try a variety of different herbs such as oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and mint.

– Recently transplanted plants are susceptible to drought. Apply water (not much, but often) close to each plant’s stem, where it will percolate down to the root ball. The larger the plant, the longer the recovery period, and the more diligently you need to water. As the weather warms up, increase the frequency of watering. Keep your plants well watered throughout the growing season.

-Don’t be in a rush to plant tomato, eggplant, pepper, okra, and other heat-loving seedlings if you live where late-May frosts are common.

-You may place houseplants outside once the nights remain above 50 degrees. Cover tender plants if late frost is in the forecast. Before transplanting indoor plants, harden them off. Put in a sheltered spot during the day and bring them in at night. Then gradually increase their exposure to sun, wind, and cool temperatures.

– May is an ideal time to start planting beans, sweet corn, potato slips, pumpkin, and watermelon. Start cucumber, cantaloupe, summer squash, and watermelon seeds indoors.

– Be aware of insects. Even though it’s not quite summer, many bugs begin appearing in May, including lace bugs, aphids, and bagworms. There are many commercial and organic pest control products available on the market today.

– Prune spring-flowering shrubs as soon as the flowers fade. For forsythias, cut the oldest stems to within a foot of the ground, but be sure to let the plant keep it’s natural shape.

– Mow your lawn when the grass is dry. To keep a healthy lawn, never cut more than one-third off the total grass height.