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May Day May Day! Garden to do's!

By: dragonflyF15 , 8:25 PM GMT on May 02, 2013

Gardening tasks for May:Zone 4-6

-Pinch azaleas and rhododendron blossoms as they fade. Double flowered azaleas need no pinching.

-Fertilize azaleas after bloom. Use a formulation which has an acid reaction.

-If spring rains have been sparse, begin irrigating, especially plants growing in full sun.

-Apples, crabapples and hawthorns susceptible to rust disease should have protective fungicidal sprays applied beginning when these bloom

-Canker worms (inch worms) rarely cause permanent damage to ornamentals. Use B.T. If control is deemed necessary.

-Don't remove spring bulb foliage prematurely or next year's flower production will decline.

-Begin planting gladiolus bulbs as the ground warms. Continue in two week intervals.

-Plant hardy water lilies in tubs or garden pools.

-Continue monitoring pines, especially scotch and mugo, for sawfly activity on new shoots.

-Scale crawlers are active now. Infested pines and euonymus should be treated at this time.

-Plant summer bulbs such as caladiums, dahlias, cannas and elephant ears

-Begin planting warm season annuals.

-Begin fertilizing annuals. Continue at regular intervals.

-Bulbs can be moved or divided as the foliage dies.

-Trees with a history of borer problems should received their first spray now. Repeat twice at 3 week intervals.

-Pinch back mums to promote bush growth

-Keep bluegrass cut at 1.5 to 2.5 inch height. Mow tall fescue at 3.5 inch height.

-Mow zoysia lawns at 1.5 inch height. Remove no more than one inch at each mowing.

-Apply post-emergence broadleaf weed controls now if needed

-Zoysia lawns may be fertilized now. Apply no more than 1 pound actual nitrogen per 1000sq feet

-Watch for sod webworms emerging now.


-Slugs will hide during the daytime beneath a board placed over the ground. Check each morning and destroy any slugs that have gathered on the underside of the board.

-Growing lettuce under screening materials will slow bolting and extend harvests into hot weather

-Place cutworm collars around young transplants. Collars are easily made from cardboard strips.

-Plant dill to use when making pickles.

-Isolate sweet, super sweet and popcorn varieties of corn to prevent crossing.

-Thin plantings of carrots and beets to avoid overcrowding.

-Begin planting sweet corn as soon as white oak leaves are as big as squirrel ears

-Set out tomato plants as soils warm. Place support stakes along side at planting time.

-Control caterpillars on broccoli and cabbage plants by handpicking or use of biological sprays such as B.T.

-Keep asparagus harvested for continued spear production. Control asparagus beetles as needed.

-Place a stake by seeds of squash and cucumbers when planting in hills to locate the root zone watering site after the vines have run

-Remove rhubarb seeds stalks as they appear

-Watch for striped and spotted cucumber beetles now. Both may spread wilt and mosaic diseases to squash and cucumber plants

-Set out peppers and eggplants after soils have warmed. Plant sweet potatoes now too.

-Begin new sowings of warm seasoned vegetables after harvesting crops

-Mulch blueberries with pine needles or sawdust

-Don't spray any fruits while in bloom. Refer to your local Extension publications for fruit spray schedule.

-Prune unwanted shoots as they appear on fruit trees

-Birds eat many insect pests. Attract them to your garden by providing good nesting habitats

-Herbs planted in average soils need no extra fertilizer. Too much reduces flavor and pungency at harvest.

-Take houseplants outdoors when nights will remain above 50 degrees. Most prefer only direct morning sun.

-Sink houseplants up to their rims in soil or mulch to conserve moisture. Fertilize regularly.

-Watch for fireflies on warm nights. Both adults and larvae are important predators.

-Remember that if you are going to spray, even safe biological sprays, do so at dusk when pollinators (bees and butterflies) are mainly done feeding.


Happy Gardening!

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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2. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:25 AM GMT on August 09, 2013
dragonflyF15 has created a new entry.
1. GardenGrrl
2:28 PM GMT on May 03, 2013
Happy May!
The weather has been up and down here temp wise. It was 81f last week and this week in the 40's-50's.

Be another week or two before my starved for real sunlight houseplants get outside.

Hope things are going well for you. I always think of you around the first of the month.
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About dragonflyF15

40yrOld Horticulturist,which means I'm a plant/tree/shrub Geek.My work revolves around Mother N and weather.I love working,playing,resting outdoors!

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