Gardening in May

Spring has already sprung. Our phones are ringing constantly as our faithful customers get in line for springtime renewal and/or an upgrade of their landscape. After the harsh temperatures we experienced this winter, many of us are doing landscape renovations.

I, like many of our readers, am enjoying morning coffee on the back-porch on these nice spring mornings, amidst colorful gardens and abundant greenery. I’ve watched deer and rabbits share the grain at the feeder; squirrels jump from tree limb to tree limb (and NEVER fall); birds flit from feeder to feeder as they sing, chirp, and establish their “pecking order.” They are starting to build nests, and soon we will see the baby birds take to the sky for their very first flight. Love the spring time.

Perhaps you have been able to walk through some Bluebonnet fields, as my family did. Wild flowers have been abundant. By now, many cool-season annuals are in decline or already gone. May is a transition month as we move from the comfortable 80’s to the more intense summer heat we all know (and love or loathe), with temperatures in the upper 90’s. It may be time to think about replacing the annuals with a summertime variety. Remember, the hotter it gets, the more difficult it becomes to spend time in the garden. Do it now before the thermometer rises too much.

When planting new color annuals, remove the weeds and other unwanted plants from the bed. Turn the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Spread a 3 or 4 inch layer of compost, rotted leaves, finely ground pine bark, or peat moss over the bed. Blend this addition into the bed and rake it smooth. You are ready to plant!

It is most appealing to the eye to plant new material in staggered rows, or a checkerboard pattern, rather than in straight lines or squares.

After planting and watering, apply a 3 or 4 inch layer of mulch around each plant.

Newly planted flower beds will need to be watered thoroughly. Then water as deeply as needed, as opposed to a “light watering” every day. Keep the soil and roots moist. It is best to water early in the day.

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