May means Mom’s Day, graduations, and more BBQs and family holidays outside! May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. As gardeners, we know growing plants and being outdoors are necessary for our wellbeing…and so much fun! Here are our Top 5 Must Do’s this May to help you and your garden make the transition to warmer weather.
Check out our May Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!
1. Plant Blooming Perennials
It’s still time to plant lots of different blooming perennials. Get them established now so they are better adapted to withstand warmer temps this Summer. Staples like Esperanza, many varieties of Salvia, Jatropha, Lantana, and more are all blooming beautifully right now. We’re excited about Cape Town Honeysuckle this month (see pic above). It grows to about 4-5’ tall and wide, whereas its relative, Cape Honeysuckle, grows to 8’ or more. Lots of blooms and lots more options for placement. Added bonus: these blooming perennials attract pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds!
2. Plant and Harvest Veggies
Warm weather veggie time! Plant peppers, zucchini, squash, and okra this month for continued harvesting into the Summer months. If you planted tomatoes, cucumbers, and other early Spring veggies, you’ll be harvesting now or soon. Be sure to harvest often! It keeps birds & insects from finding them first. If you do have insect issues in your veggie garden, our go-to organic control is Spinosad – safe for food but takes care of bugs. And remember to keep watering as the weather warms up. Soaker hoses are great to snake around your plants keeping water close to the ground and root systems.
3. Tend Your Lawn
It’s vital to water your lawn once a week unless we have rain. Invest in a sprinkler that’ll do the work – we have them. Hand watering the lawn may feel therapeutic, but you won’t get good coverage and depth.
When mowing, the proper height for St. Augustine lawns is around 3 inches. For Bermuda lawns keep mowed to around 2-2.5 inches.
Feed with Natural Fertilizers: Medina Growin Green or Milorganite. These feed the lawn and the soil with great results. Water in to get them started.
Watch for lawn insects & treat when needed. Grub worms & chinch bugs are easy to control when caught early but there’s no need to treat unless you have them. Bayer Season-long Grub Control will do the trick for grubs. Cyonara takes care of chinch bugs.
4. Look for Thirsty Plants
Watch your plants and they will show you when they need a drink. Most show signs of wilting (see photo). That’s a sign they need water soon. Once you give them a drink, they perk up quickly. But some will not tell you until it is too late, like a live oak tree. Invest in a moisture meter. They help to read the moisture with a poke into the soil around the roots. We have them and they’re very easy to use.
5. Gifts for Moms and Grads
Let us help you find something pretty, useful, or both for the gardening moms and grads in your life. Pottery, birdbaths, wind chimes, garden tools, hats, gloves – lots of options. Or the gift that gardeners love most – plants!
Check out our May Garden Guide for more tips! Happy gardening!