Top 6 Gardening Must-Do’s for May 2024!

Jesse JenkinsBest Practices, Birds, Butterflies, and Bees, Color for the Season, community, Events, Flowers, Garden Design, Mother's Day, Pollinators, Problem Solving, Texas Native Plants, Timely Tips, Trees6 Comments

Yay for May! Everything’s growing and blooming and we hope you are too! May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which is a good time to think about the peace of mind that gardening brings us. Gardeners know that all the research is true – gardening is good for you! Here are our Top 6 Must Do’s this May to keep you and your garden feelin’ good.

1. Join Us for Garden Talks and Events!

We’ve got a fun May planned here at Gill’s, and we’re kicking it off Saturday, May 11th with our Mother’s Day Flower Art for Kids workshop! Then we’re hosting an RSVP-only pressed flower workshop the evening of May 16th, and an informative talk on setting up your own drip irrigation system on May 25th. Sure to be lots of fun and lots to learn and discuss! Click here for more info!

2. Plant Blooming Perennials and Trees

It’s still time to plant lots of different blooming perennials and blooming trees. Get them established in May so they are better adapted to withstand warmer temps this Summer. Staples like Esperanza, many varieties of Salvia, Lantana, and tons more are all blooming beautifully right now. And blooming trees like Vitex, Retama, and Wild Olive are looking great right now too. Added bonus:  these blooming perennials and trees attract lots of butterflies and hummingbirds!

3. 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 very 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. Recent rain showers have been great for veggie gardens. Remember to keep watering as the weather warms up to maintain depth moisture. Soaker hoses are great to snake around your plants keeping water close to the ground and root systems.

4. Transition Your Lawn to Summer

Water deeply once every 2 weeks unless we get rain (per current watering rules). Watering once every 2 weeks with your irrigation system or sprinklers IS sufficient to keep lawns healthy through the summer. If necessary, you can supplement with hand watering. The key is to focus on depth moisture and root health – not necessarily a perfect green appearance all summer long.

When mowing, the proper height for St. Augustine lawns is around 3 inches. For Bermuda lawns, keep mowed to around 2-2.5 inches. Buzzing lawns shorter than that will cause lawn stress, and stressed lawns are more susceptible to pests, weeds, and disease.

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. Plus you can use them elsewhere in your landscape for plants and trees.

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. Reminder, you can bring us a grass sample any time you suspect a lawn disease or pest. We’ll diagnose (using our microscope if needed) and get you what you need to knock it out.

Consider reducing your lawn space! Does all this lawn stuff sound like a lot of work? It can be! Many of us are reconsidering whether we really even want all that green lawn space. Why not start converting small portions of lawn to planting beds filled with blooming perennials that benefit the environment and use far less water? One way to start would simply be to deepen existing landscape beds to reduce some lawn.

5. Set Your Mosquito Traps!

We are big fans of the simple bucket mosquito trap. Just fill a bucket 3/4 with water, add a good handful of lawn or plant clippings, and toss in a Mosquito Dunk or Mosquito Bits. These dissolve in the water and release bacteria that target mosquito larvae and kill them before they hatch. And they’re organic and not harmful to birds, bees, pets or humans! Set a few of these traps, sprinkle some organic Mosquito Beater granules around walkways and patios, spray organic Cedar Repel on your lawn, and use Skeeter Screen incense sticks near where you’re working or hanging out outside. Remember that using chemical mosquito foggers kills all the good bugs too, some of which also help control mosquitos and other bad bugs.

6. 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, garden decor, gift cards – lots of options. Check out the Bee Puddles handmade by ceramicist and Gill’s own Wyatt Page! Help bees stop for a drink. Or find the gift that gardeners love most – plants 🙂

Visit our May Garden Guide for more tips! Happy gardening!

6 Comments on “Top 6 Gardening Must-Do’s for May 2024!”

    1. Hi Maria – nothing to worry about unless you have a massive infestation of them. If you see a few, no need to do anything. If you see a whole bunch, you can spray with organic BT to take care of them.

  1. We live in central Indiana and we definitely have issues! I have two problems to deal with: #1. We have a nest (we think it’s a nest in the ground) of gnats that swarm around that we have to walk through during the summer to get into our house! How can we get rid of them?
    #2. Our yards is covered with wild miniature strawberries that’s practically choked out our front yard. We really want just grass! How can we eradicate these plants without killing what little bit of grass we have left? Thank you in advance!
    A E Tansel

    1. Good afternoon – it’s hard for us to advise because we’re not from your area. It would be best to find a local garden center and reach out to them.

  2. We’d like to replace some of our grass with a hearty, drought resistant ground cover. It would be nice if it would choke out the weeds, too! What would you recommend?

    1. Hi Pam – great idea! Frogfruit and Horseherb are 2 of our favorite groundcovers for replacing lawn areas. Both can grow almost anywhere, and they do get thick enough to choke out most (not all) weeds. Both are native, cold-hardy, very drought resistant, and their small blooms attract pollinators. I replaced part of my front yard with Frogfruit and I love it. It handles light foot traffic well. Once it finishes blooming, I mow it with a lawnmower.

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