40yrOld Horticulturist,which means I'm a plant/tree/shrub Geek.My work revolves around Mother N and weather.I love working,playing,resting outdoors!
By: dragonflyF15, 7:45 AM GMT on May 01, 2012
Gardening tasks for May:Zone 4-6
-Pinch azaleas and rhododendron blossoms as they fade. Double flowered azaleas need no pinching.
-Fertilize azaleas after bloom. Use a formulation which has an acid reaction.
-If spring rains have been sparse, begin irrigating, especially plants growing in full sun.
-Apples, crabapples and hawthorns susceptible to rust disease should have protective fungicidal sprays applied beginning when these bloom
-Canker worms (inch worms) rarely cause permanent damage to ornamentals. Use B.T. If control is deemed necessary.
-Don't remove spring bulb foliage prematurely or next year's flower production will decline.
-Begin planting gladiolus bulbs as the ground warms. Continue in two week intervals.
-Plant hardy water lilies in tubs or garden pools.
-Continue monitoring pines, especially scotch and mugo, for sawfly activity on new shoots.
-Scale crawlers are active now. Infested pines and euonymus should be treated at this time.
-Plant summer bulbs such as caladiums, dahlias, cannas and elephant ears
-Begin planting warm season annuals.
-Begin fertilizing annuals. Continue at regular intervals.
-Bulbs can be moved or divided as the foliage dies.
-Trees with a history of borer problems should received their first spray now. Repeat twice at 3 week intervals.
-Pinch back mums to promote bush growth
-Keep bluegrass cut at 1.5 to 2.5 inch height. Mow tall fescue at 3.5 inch height.
-Mow zoysia lawns at 1.5 inch height. Remove no more than one inch at each mowing.
-Apply post-emergence broadleaf weed controls now if needed
-Zoysia lawns may be fertilized now. Apply no more than 1 pound actual nitrogen per 1000sq feet
-Watch for sod webworms emerging now.
-Slugs will hide during the daytime beneath a board placed over the ground. Check each morning and destroy any slugs that have gathered on the underside of the board.
-Growing lettuce under screening materials will slow bolting and extend harvests into hot weather
-Place cutworm collars around young transplants. Collars are easily made from cardboard strips.
-Plant dill to use when making pickles.
-Isolate sweet, super sweet and popcorn varieties of corn to prevent crossing.
-Thin plantings of carrots and beets to avoid overcrowding.
-Begin planting sweet corn as soon as white oak leaves are as big as squirrel ears
-Set out tomato plants as soils warm. Place support stakes along side at planting time.
-Control caterpillars on broccoli and cabbage plants by handpicking or use of biological sprays such as B.T.
-Keep asparagus harvested for continued spear production. Control asparagus beetles as needed.
-Place a stake by seeds of squash and cucumbers when planting in hills to locate the root zone watering site after the vines have run
-Remove rhubarb seeds stalks as they appear
-Watch for striped and spotted cucumber beetles now. Both may spread wilt and mosaic diseases to squash and cucumber plants
-Set out peppers and eggplants after soils have warmed. Plant sweet potatoes now too.
-Begin new sowings of warm seasoned vegetables after harvesting crops
-Mulch blueberries with pine needles or sawdust
-Don't spray any fruits while in bloom. Refer to your local Extension publications for fruit spray schedule.
-Prune unwanted shoots as they appear on fruit trees
-Birds eat many insect pests. Attract them to your garden by providing good nesting habitats
-Herbs planted in average soils need no extra fertilizer. Too much reduces flavor and pungency at harvest.
-Take houseplants outdoors when nights will remain above 50 degrees. Most prefer only direct morning sun.
-Sink houseplants up to their rims in soil or mulch to conserve moisture. Fertilize regularly.
-Watch for fireflies on warm nights. Both adults and larvae are important predators.
-Remember that if you are going to spray, even safe biological sprays, do so at dusk when pollinators (bees and butterflies) are mainly done feeding.