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
For summer fragrance, consider planting summer flowering citrus, Gardenias, Star Jasmine, Mock Orange or roses. Indian Hawthorn, Rockrose, Escallonia, and Daylily are flowering this month. These are hardy mid-sized shrubs for sunny areas.
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 and a handful of gypsum for drainage and pH; scatter the grow power again in 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.
Avocado, banana, citrus, and stone fruits all can be planted now before the weather gets too warm. Whitewash thin-barked trees such as citrus, macadamia and avocado to prevent sunburn. This is the best time off the year for stone fruit availability.
Cut cool season grasses long (1 ½”) to encourage a deep root system and to discourage weeds. We no longer sell sod, but we do have a few types of grass seed available for different situations, like sun or shade and heat tolerant types. Plant now before the heat of the summer comes along. Seed germination in high heat areas can be challenging.
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 all in one application. 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. Feed with a timed released fertilizer like Osmocote or with houseplant fertilizer spikes for easy feeding. Just do not let the soil dry out when using these types of fertilizers.
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. If you are growing Butterfly Bush start inspecting for caterpillars or bud worms.
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.