May is a splendid month for your garden! The sunny days are catching up to the wetter ones, the air and soil are warming up, and both young and older plants are stretching their buds open, uncurling their new leaves, and getting ready to GROW! Here are some excellent tips to help them on their way.
Practice preventive pest management rather than reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before acting, and opt for the least toxic approach. Conserve biological control agents such as predators and the parasitoids that feed on insect pests.
Prepare garden soil for spring planting. Incorporate generous amounts of organic materials and any needed amendments.
Prepare raised beds in areas where cold soils and poor drainage are a continuing problem. Incorporate generous amounts (at least 2 inches) of organic materials.
Use a soil thermometer to help you know when to plant vegetables. When the soil is consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, some warm season vegetables (beans, sweet corn) can be planted.
Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to brown and die down before removing.
Place compost or decomposed manure around perennial vegetables, such as asparagus and rhubarb.
Cut back ornamental grasses to a few inches above the ground.
Cover transplants to protect against late spring frosts.
Plant gladioli, hardy transplants of alyssum, phlox and marigolds, if weather and soil conditions permit.
It's a great time to start a vegetable garden. Among the vegetables you can plant, consider:
Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, chives, slicing cucumbers, endive, leeks, lettuce, onion sets, peas and potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.