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Monthly Gardening Guide – May
Welcome to your Monthly Gardening Guide for May! Below you will find information on what I will be doing, (or trying to do) for the month of May. These are goals, not standards and some months I am on top of it and other months I blow it. But somehow, and thankfully, the garden is forgiving. Your garden to-do list may look different than mine, and that is okay. Perhaps you will glean something from my list and please, if you have any suggestions, opinions or tips & tricks feel free to contact me! I would love to hear from you. Now, let’s get our hands dirty and get growing!
This month in Texas is a rush to get everything planted! Out with the cool crops and in with the warm. But look out, May is an unpredictable fellow, with thunderstorms aplenty. With the temps in the 80’s and pushing 90’s anything can and will happen. Remember to check your irrigation systems and water, water, water!
Speaking of irrigation, now is the time before you plant everything to make sure your irrigation systems are good! This is a good video! Also, make sure you have plenty of Mulch on hand. I prefer using straw and I love EZ Tack. At the end of the season it just decomposes really well and enriches my soil a bit. There are plenty of other options such as coconut coir, wood chips or landscape fabric too. This month is the month weeds take over, so kill those weeds and mulch, mulch, mulch!
Warm season crops: Plant your sweet potatoes now, and please remember they LOVE sandy soil. Okra and Southern Peas go in this month too!! Remember to succession plant or you will have quite a lot of veggies at once.
Warm season annuals: Keep planting Zinnias, Marigolds, Celosia, Impatients, Wax begonias and Coleus. Now you can Daisies, Moss Rose, Purslane, Trailing lantanas, Cleome, Pentas, Firebush and Angelonias and Copper plant.
Warm season annuals for shade: Wax and Dragon Wing Begonias, Nicotianas, Caladiums and Coleus.
Summer and fall perennials: Now is the last time to plant those perennials, check each plants prime blooming season and plan for a sequence of color.
Roses from containers are good to plant – last call though. Last call for planting trees and shrubs of all kinds. Last call for New lawns, it’s getting a little too warm to wait any longer.
Need recommendations for seeds?? I have a couple of resources that I USE and LOVE:
- Spring blooming shrubs and vines. Next years flowers will grow on shoots that develop this year.
- Shade trees need a little help with low branches. But wait till mid-summer to prune your Oak Trees.
- Your peaches and plums need a trim to produce the highest quality fruit. Thin fruit early in this month to 5 or 6 fruit per branch.
- Blackberries need to have their tips pruned on new canes to encourage branching.
- Continue fertilizing on a regular schedule your established roses, watering the day before and after application. I use a combo systemic and fertilizer mix for my roses and they stay healthy and beautiful that way!
- Lawns, Pecans, Annuals, Perennials, Containers all with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Lawns, trees and shrubs use granular and Annuals, perennials, veggies and containers use water soluble. For my mature plants I like to use Alaska Fish Fertilizer. Only for my outdoor plantings, not my indoor seedlings (it has a lovely fishy aroma). Yes, there are other fish fertilizers out there but I have used Alaska Fish Fertilizer my entire gardening life and LOVE it! It never fails me.
The Look Out For’s & To-do’s
- Water lawns and gardens deeply once to twice a week, depending on the amount of rain. Do not overwater.
- Early blight on your tomatoes! Lower leaves will develop yellow blotches and drop. Keep foliage dry as possible, consider mulching with straw under leaves (one of the many reasons I use straw) and apply fungicide of necessary.
- Keep an eye out for Black spot on your roses. If you are using a combo systemic and fertilizer you should be okay. If not, get some.
- Weeds are STILL coming! Consider applying a broadleaf weed killer to eliminate unwanted plants. You can also go the natural route and use Homemade Herbicides: 5 Natural Ways to Weed. This is a great article from Farmers Almanac.
- Be watching for ladybugs and other beneficial insects to be in the stores and buy them, and if you missed your chance to buy them local or online.
- Bugs, and bugs, and insects and bugs. And not the good kind. Webworms, Bagworms, and Scale insects oh my! Webworms need pruning, Bagworms you can use BT, and Scale you will need to apply a systemic to limit the outbreak.
Monthly Garden Check-list for May
May you find joy & wonder in your garden and may your hands always be dirty,
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