After the April showers, May brings the promise of a vibrant garden and the start to a season of an abundant harvest. The work done during the months of April and May will set the pace for the rest of the year; get off to a running start with this checklist of things to do in your lawn and garden.
- Fertilize your lawn with an organic lawn fertilizer such as the kind offered here at Natural Alternative®.
- If you sowed grass seed this spring, continue to keep the new seedlings moist through this month; to keep seeds from drying out and dying.
- If you laid down sod, continue to keep the new sod moist as well. Here’s a great video which gives tips on how to care for a newly sodded lawn.
- Continue to mow your lawn only when it needs it. Avoid cutting off more than a third of the grass blades and make sure your mower blade is sharp.
- Repot houseplants in new soil.
- Be sure your houseplants are receiving adequate amount of light and rotate them to promote an even, full growth.
Tree & Shrub
- Plant trees or shrubs before the heat of summer to establish the roots. Use Protilizer® Seed & Plant Activator to prevent roots from going into shock and possibly stunting growth.
Vegetables & Fruit
- Squash, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, and sweet potatoes can all be sown outdoors this month.
- Know the last frost date for your plant hardiness zone.
- Keep an eye on a late frost and protect any plants which could be affected.
- Continue to plant cool-season crops.
- Harden off warm-season transplants by moving them into a cold frame or move them outside during the day and back inside at night until the threat of frost is gone.
Flower & Bulb
- Finish planting summer annuals like marigolds or petunias.
- Divide any crowded perennials.
- Deadhead spring blooming bulbs and early spring flowers as their blossoms fade. Do not cut the foliage back. The bulb uses the decaying foliage as nutrients for next year’s flowers. Tie the foliage neatly with a rubber band if it becomes unsightly.
Maintenance & Other
- Mother’s Day is in May! Check out our list of gifts for the gardener for some unique gift ideas.
- Clean bird feeders and bird baths. It’s time to put out the hummingbird feeders to catch migrating birds. The permanent residents return by May 30th. Make your own hummingbird nectar with one cup of water and ¼ cup sugar. Bring it to a boil; cool; and add to the feeder.
- Give everything a good first-of-the-season feeding, if you haven’t already, to get things growing.
- Weed out any invasive or undesirable plants from your garden (and lawn if you like) now while the ground is still moist.
- Create a rain barrel or invest in a similar rain collector to conserve our natural resources and save on water bills.