May in Your Garden:
Water in the Garden
Begin increasing your watering schedule as the weather warms. Water seedlings and young plants frequently for short periods; water trees and shrubs deeply and less often. All kinds of plants will benefit from an application of a micronutrient foliar spray like Citrus Grower’s Mix.
Planting and Transplanting
Low-growing African Daisy, Algerian Ivy, Carmel Creeper, Trailing Gazania, Prostrate Myoporum, Rockrose, Dwarf Rosemary and some ice plants, watered properly, make great fire-resistant shrubs or ground covers.
Plant summer flowers weekly for successive bloom including: Plant Ageratum, African Daisy, Angelonia, Begonia, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Gazania, Impatiens, Lobelia, Marigold, Petunia, Portulaca, Salvia, Vinca and Verbena. Before planting, scatter and work into the soil an all-purpose fertilizer such as Gro-Power; scatter again in two to four weeks. Choose from a large selection of ivy geraniums, which are in full bloom. Stake flowering plants that tend to droop.
Vegetables and Herbs
Harvest early vegetables and strawberries. Consider planting a marigold border interspersed with garlic or onion around the vegetable garden to discourage pests. In your herb garden plant basil, dill and garlic. Herbs require a sunny location with light, well-drained soil. Compact herbs like parsley and thyme make ideal border plants.
Cut cool season grasses long (1 ½”) to encourage a deep root system and to discourage weeds. Although you can plant sod lawns of any type all summer, this is the best time to plant Bermuda grass.
Plant container grown roses. Remove old buds. Use fungicide every 4-6 weeks and an insecticide for mites and aphids as needed through September. Fertilize every 6 weeks through July. Check out Bayor All-in-One Rose and Flower to feed, kill insects and control disease. Water once or twice a week as needed. Remove dead flowers right after petals fall to discourage bacterial growth. Remove any unwanted suckers.
Inspect plants for insects and wipe dust off leaves to discourage pests.
Some Specific Plants
Lightly prune to shape old wood on hibiscus plants. Pinch new growth tips to increase flower production. Start azaleas and camellias on a regular feeding program using an acidic fertilizer to encourage stronger growth and heavy flower set later in the season.
Geranium budworm can bother geraniums and petunias at this time of year. Spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) as soon as you see signs of damage. Use the same spray to control cabbage worms and cabbage loopers. Continue to blast spider mites and aphids with soapy water or, if necessary, an insecticidal soap. Hoe, pull or spray weeds while they’re still small and before they set seeds. Slow weed growth by mulching.
Finish Major Garden Projects Before the Weather Gets Too Warm
• May is a great month to plant, clip, sow, and renovate your entire landscape. Create a garden with fragrance as well as color by planting flowering vines such as jasmine or honeysuckle.
• Check and adjust your watering system. The best time to water is early morning, when evaporation and wind are minimal. Make sure you have proper coverage to avoid wet or dry spots. Trim grass around sprinkler heads.