What to Do in Your Garden in May
May is the ideal time to set out tomatoes and other summer vegetables in your garden. (Photo by Michaela Parker)
I spent a lot of time working in my yard during April. I planted several pots, pruned my shrubs, and put down a fresh layer of mulch. It would be easy to sit back and admire my hard work, but with the warmer weather coming in, there’s still so much to do!
- Plant crape myrtles when plants are in color.
- Plant annuals and perennials early in the month, and keep them well-watered.
- Set out chrysanthemums.
- Continue planting gladiolus. Can also plant calla lilies, ginger lilies, tuberose, and cannas.
- Take hydrangea cuttings and let them root in coarse sand.
- In the shade, plant impatiens, coleus, sweet alyssum, lobelia, and annual dianthus.
- In full sun, plant verbena, periwinkle, ageratum, marigolds, zinnias, petunias, wax begonia, clematis, four-o’clocks, and portulaca.
- Vegetables that should be planted this month: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, peas, beans, eggplant, corn, okra, parsley, watermelons, and cantaloupe.
Keep an eye on garden pests and diseases: red spiders, thrips, aphids, lacebugs, lacewings, mealy bugs, caterpillars, slugs, snails, mildew, fungus, and crown rot.
- This is the last month to prune azaleas and camellias before new buds form in June.
- Prune your gardenias and bring a bouquet of clippings inside to beautify the house.
- Cutting bouquets regularly will keep your plants pruned and prolong the blooming season. Cut in early morning or late afternoon, and put into water immediately.
- Remove seedpods from bulbs and irises because they sap the plants’ strength.
- A mulch layer helps maintain moisture and can protect roots from temperature extremes.
- Water deeply during weeks that it does not rain.
- Repot house plants during their active growing period (April through September).
- May is a good month to repot and divide overcrowded ferns.
- confederate jasmine, gardenias, begonias, impatiens, salvia, geraniums, roses, hydrangeas, magnolias, azaleas, clematis, phlox, sweet william, deutzia, honeysuckle, golden-rain tree, pomegranate, mock orange, weigela
If you have any questions or problems while in your garden, the MSU Extension website is a great place to find answers!
Southern Gardening’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are also great resources for gardening tips and tricks. Be sure to give them a follow to get the latest information from Dr. Gary Bachman, MSU Extension horticulturist.
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