Easy Gardening Tips For May

You don’t have to have a green thumb to be a successful gardener. Plant just about any type of vegetable or flower in May for great results by summer.

Plant an Herb Garden: Buying herbs at the grocery store can be expensive. The cost of cut basil can cost more than a basil plant. Plant your favorite herbs in your garden and enjoy their fresh taste throughout spring and summer. Dry them and use them year round. Here’s your chance to experiment with herbs while cooking. Plant cilantro, dill, parsley, thyme, mint, basil, sage, fennel and oregano.

Plant Flowers for Long Lasting Color: Many of the most beautiful flowers only last a season. Now is the time to plant these annuals so you can enjoy them for as long as possible. Plant begonia, chrysanthemum, geranium, marigold, petunia and verbena. Your garden center will have lots more varieties to choose from. Want something more permanent? Plant perennials including Russian sage, asters, purple coneflower, yarrow, peonies, blanket flowers, Siberian iris, daffodils, pincushion flowers, African daisy, delphinium, fuchsia and lavender.

Solve Pest Problems Naturally: One of the benefits of planting your own garden is the ability to keep it chemical free. Instead of putting harmful chemicals into your garden to keep away bugs, try natural and safe options. Ladybugs can control aphid outbreaks. Buy them at your local nursery and release them after dark so they are not tempted to fly to your neighbor’s yard. To keep snails and slugs from eating plants, place crushed egg shells around the plants. Snails won’t walk over them.

Time to Prune Shrubs: Prune (thin and shape) spring blooming shrubs as soon as the blooms are finished.

Thin Fruit Trees: Fruit trees produce more fruit than can grow to maturity. Some of the immature fruit will fall naturally during May. Thin the remaining smaller fruit from the branches. That way, stronger fruit will grow larger and tastier and smaller fruit won’t weigh down tree branches.

Reduce Your Lawn: The water needed to keep the average size lawns green amounts to about 32 percent of outdoor water use. With water rates rising, consider reducing the size of your lawn. Low maintenance, drought-tolerant ground cover such as lantana and ornamental grasses including fountain grass and deer grass can easily fill in a location where grass once grew.

Mulching Matters:Add a two-to-three-inch layer of mulch on flower and vegetable beds and around trees and shrubs. Make sure mulch does not touch plant stems or tree trunks. Mulch keeps weeds down, holds in moisture and prevents disease.