All about May

May Garden Guide For the Landscape

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

There is still time to plant evergreens. As long as you do this before the new growth is excessively far advanced, and as long as they have a good root ball and are mulched and well watered after planting, they will live and prosper. May is a good time to transplant Magnolias and Tulip trees. Continue to make sowings of hardy annuals and vegetables. As soon as the weather is settled and the ground reasonably warm, make sowings of Corn, Cucumbers, Melons, Squash, Snap Beans and Lima Beans.

When danger of cool nights has passed, set out Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants and green Dahlia plants. Geraniums, Heliotropes, Lantanas, Coleus, Cannas, Caladiums and Begonias may be planted outdoors late this month or early in June. Make successional plantings of Gladioli, Montbretias and Tuberoses. Don’t cut off the foliage of Spring-flowering bulbs until it has died completely.

If dry weather prevails, Peas, Sweet Peas and many other garden plants will benefit from copious watering. Remember especially regularly to water trees, shrubs and evergreens planted this Spring. Chrysanthemums, Summer Phlox and some other perennials that tend to grow excessively tall and lanky may be induced to bush out if the tips of their growing shoots are pinched out.

Lawn Projects For Southern May Gardens

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Lawns are growing rapidly during May in the South and so are the weeds. Many gardeners are plagued with crabgrass. May is the best month to combat this pest with selective crabgrass killers. The seeds of this annual do not germinate until May in most of the South and the young plants are the most susceptible to the weed killers. If you want to do a complete job of eradicating all kinds of weeds call in the lawn professionals for a complete treatment to kill practically everything but the lawn grasses themselves.

Seeding Bermuda lawns is done this month in the Middle and Upper South. Because of its reputation for being tough, Bermuda is often given much less care than most other lawn grasses. Consequently, many Bermuda lawns are thin and shaggy. Adequate soil preparation, spring and fall feeding and an annual top-dressing will do wonders for a Bermuda lawn.

To be sure of a weed-free top-dressing mix peatmoss and pulverized manure, half and half. Apply this 1/4 inch deep on established Bermuda lawns over the entire area. Established lawns of every type benefit by feeding now. Use a complete plant food with a moderately high nitrogen content (10-6-4, 6-10-4, 6-8-6 or 5-10-5), three to four pounds per 100 square feet.

Short List of Things To Do for your Lawn (March-May)

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Spring.

March

Usually in March, the rain will begin and continue until May or June. If you live in a region that experiences a lot of rain, this may not seem much different from how it normally is.

Use the rain to your advantage. It will cause the ground to soften, which means you can begin your spring lawn care regimen. During the month of March, you can aerate your soil, add nutrients, and remove that awful thatch.

If you have drainage problems, now is the time to take action.

Tasks that should be completed in March include:

Aerating soil

Removing thatch

Seeding the lawn

Creating a drainage system

Cleaning out existing drainage system

Checking out trees, plants, and shrubs

Planting in late March for some plants and flowers

Stocking up on lawn care supplies for upcoming season

During the month of March, you may become frustrated because of the limited amount of time you will have to spend in your yard due to the rain.

But many of these tasks can be completed in a day or two. Try to get out there when you can so that you do not fall behind and miss the beginning of the new growing season.

May Starts Wild Flower Tour

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

The study of our native wild flowers is a most fascinating hobby. It’s now the first week in May. For real thrills, we leave Kansas City about three in the morning and at 6:30 are having breakfast in the Ozarks beside a sparkling, rocky stream, bordered with bluebells and sweet William. Dogwoods are in bloom on the rocky slopes, and look at those bird’s foot violets – some are bicolors… aren’t they just about the cutest ever? And shooting stars in pink and white, and yellow… click, click of my digital camera and I have them in natural color pictures to enjoy next winter. Watch closely, you may see a scarlet tanager, a redstart, the big pileated woodpecker or perhaps the little cerulean warbler. That’s real honest to goodness fun.

Many perennials can be successfully grown from seed in your own garden. Save or buy seeds of delphiniums, columbines, dianthus, lupines, gaillardias, pyrethrum, linums, coreopsis, violas and veronicas. The seed may be sown in separate beds or in long rows as vegetables would be planted. It is easier, however, to carry the plants over the winter in beds than in rows. Some of the plants will be large enough to move to a proper location in the flower border this fall, but better results are usually obtained by spring planting.

A Hit Among Landscaping Shrubs

Friday, March 12th, 2010

The landscaper must decide whether deciduous plants (those that drop their leaves) or evergreens should be used in the foundation planting. Your taste and your climate will be the key factors. But remember that a mixture of the two is rarely, if ever, desirable – although an evergreen ground cover can well be used with whichever type of plant you decide on. Indeed, such a ground cover might be even more useful and effective around deciduous material than around evergreens. It will keep the planting from looking sparse and bare after the shrubs go dormant and drop their leaves.

Seasonal Changes

Deciduous plants grow much faster and larger than most evergreens so you need to know more about plant habits generally to use them properly. As to which type offers the greater interest throughout the year, it may surprise you to learn that the deciduous plants lead. In many parts of the country such plants go through four seasonal phases in each of which they take on different characteristics.

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