by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Mother’s Day is the historic last chance of frost, and summer plants can go in the gardens safely. It’s time to plant your garden tomatoes, pepper, squash, and herbs without risk. You wlll also find the best selection of flowers at Watters Garden Center in May. Shade plants like begonia, impatiens, and coleus can all be planted safely. Sun-loving lantana, geranium, and marigolds are available in every size and all colors.
Begin deep irrigation of trees and shrubs approximately once per week. Reduce water use this summer with a healthy 3″ inch layer of shredded Cedar Bark over the roots of trees, shrubs, and flower beds. Cedar is a natural bug repellent as an added bonus in the garden.
Releasing beneficial insects is highly practical; ladybugs and praying mantes are available at Watters Garden Center in May. Grasshoppers are uniquely harmful from May through Summer. Attach insects early before they become an infestation. ‘NOLO bait’ is the longest-lasting organic treatment for grasshoppers but needs to be applied in May. If in doubt, hit bugs with Watters ‘Cyronara’ spray to instantly eradicate aphids, thrip, and grasshoppers.
*Mother’s Day is the historic last frost of spring and the time to plant the summer gardens.
*Spread a 3″ layer of Shredded Cedar Bark to prevent soil sunburn.
*Turn over the compost pile, or use your compost in the garden and start a new pile.
*Ensure that your automatic irrigation system is tuned up.
*Deepwater trees and shrubs before 8 am.
*The first Grasshoppers hatch.
*Eradicate insects with Watters ‘Cyronara’ Spray.
*Watch for Spider Mites on Evergreens.
*Elm Leaf Skeletonizer and Cutworms control with ‘Cyronara’ Spray.
*Watch for disease and insects on your rose bushes.
*Harvest any remaining cool-season vegetables.
*Plant warm-season vegetables, including those in the nightshade family.
*Continue harvesting cool-season crops like asparagus, peas, and leafy crops.
*Watch for pests like groundhogs, gophers, and rabbits before they damage gardens.
*Plant Asparagus & Rhubarb if you do not already have some.
*The best month to plant tomato, pepper, squash, and herbs
FREE – Ask for my unique guide to growing better tomatoes the next time you visit the garden center. This ‘How-To’ ensures a better harvest and is free by simply asking.
*Honeysuckle, Marigold, Peony, Purple Robe Locust, Roses, Wisteria, and all cooking herbs show off in May.
*Evergreens flush new growth this month.
*Deadhead your spring bulbs after blooming to prevent them from forming seeds.
*Fertilizer Flowers & Vegetables twice monthly with water-soluble ‘Flower Power’ to promote more fruits and blooms.
*Deadhead pansies and primroses when they finish blooming.
*Plant summer bulbs like Dahlias.
*Give garden mums their first pinch back to keep them compact for summer and fall bloom.
*Plant annual flowers like Lantana, Begonias, and Bougainvillea
Plant of the Week is the Red Royal Butterfly Bush. This locally grown variety burst into bloom early with deep magenta flowers measuring 14″ inches long. Boasting gracefully arching limbs with shimmering foliage. The sweet honey aroma is irresistible to butterflies, but hummingbirds find it equally tasty. Growing just chest high, this summer bloomer loves summer heat, tolerates drought, and draws all types of pollinators. Every yard needs at least one, and they are $10 off this weekend.
Until next week, I’ll be helping locals’ plant beautiful May gardens here at Watters Garden Center.