Gardening Tips for May

May is a month of transition in your garden as cooler weather plants should be replaced with varieties that like warmer temperatures.  For example, verbena, petunias, purslane, pentas, vinca and zinnia can all be planted in sunny spots during the month.  In shady areas try ferns, begonias, impatiens, nicotiana, hostas and caladiums to provide an interesting mix of color and greenery. 

If you want to attract birds and butterflies, plant milkweed, butterfly bush, red yucca, zinnia, hibiscus, lantana, salvia and vines like trumpet, passion and honeysuckle.

It’s important to maintain a regular fertilization and pruning schedule for your yard.  Now that spring bloomers, like azaleas, have dropped their flowers, prune and fertilize in order to help buds set for next year.

St. Augustine, Bermuda and other warm-season turfgrasses can now be planted.  Keep new grass moist until well established.  If laying sod, use a root stimulator to help the grass develop a healthy root system and don’t fertilize until after the second or third mowing.

In early May, you can still plant in your vegetable garden summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, okra, corn, cucumber, eggplant, cantaloupe and watermelon.  But don’t wait too long as young plants need to be well established before the summer heat hits.

Caladium bulbs are considered tropicals and are typically planted around Mother’s Day when the soil temperature is warm enough for germination.

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