MAY GARDENING CALENDAR
It looks like this year May is going to be our primary planting month, due to the cold spring. Some general duties to perform: mulch berries, hill leeks, watch for pests: cutworms, pea weevils, root maggot flies, aphids, powdery mildew. Watch for frosts before putting out tender plants or have row covers and/or tunnels ready. Harden off plants for a week to ten days before planting in the open garden. Plant successive crops of cool-loving crops until the end of the month. Hoe and weed beds. Weeding is very important in May.
Sow indoors first week of the month for transplanting out late in May or early in June: cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupes, watermelons, gourds.
Plant successive crops of: lettuce, spinach, beets, onions, potatoes, peas, and turnips.
Direct sow (usually about May 10): beans, corn, dill, edamame soy beans, lettuce, spinach, NZ spinach, okra, parsley, leeks, parsnips, scallions, summer savory, sunflowers. Late in the month, when soil has warmed, direct sow: Lima beans, cantaloupes, cucumbers, okra, pumpkins, squash, and watermelons.
Transplant out early: artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, Asian greens, pak choi, and tomatoes (if you can cover them when it gets cold). Late in the month, if weather permits or you have cover, transplant out: peppers, eggplant, cantaloupes, cucumbers, okra, pumpkins, squash, and watermelons.
Harvest: asparagus, greens, rhubarb. From frames, a cold tunnel or greenhouse, harvest: radishes, lettuce, turnips, peas, and any cole crops you have started early and grown through winter months.
Watch for pests: root maggots, wireworms, cutworms, and cabbage butterflies. Cover crops with netting, row covers, tunnels and fabric. Use cans or milk jugs with both ends cut out for cutworms, especially on cole crops (brassicas), tomatoes and cucumbers.
May 1, finish sowing zinnias and scarlet runner beans for transplanting out later. Sow direct outside (usually May 10 or so): China asters, cosmos, annual dianthus, balsam, moonvine, morning glory, vinca, marigolds, browallias, sunflowers, runner beans, bachelor’s buttons, castor beans, cockscomb, nicotiana, nasturtiums, poppies, sweet sultan, sweet peas, gomphrena, annual grasses, stocks, bells of Ireland, bupleurum, ammi.
Late in the month, direct sow: annual euphorbia and gypsophila. Transplant out tender flowers when frosts are over. Transplant out perennials started from seed in January after hardening off.
Shade ranunculuses, anemones, and bulb seedlings; take up fall-flowering bulbs and dry for summer storage. Propagate bulbs by offsets. Keep a careful watch over newly planted pansies, violets, violas; watering if needed. Check for pest damage; prepare manure tea.
Set out apple maggot lures before bloom, if not already done.
Thin tree fruits after bloom so no fruit touches (this discourages codling moths); protect (cover) cherries from birds. Watch for pests on fruit trees, shrubs, roses. Wash off with a force of water. Set out peach borer traps by the 15th. Set out apple maggot traps late in the month or in early June. Remove fallen fruit weekly to discourage codling moths. Remove loose bark and wrap trunks with cardboard or burlap, periodically removing it capture codling moth pupae. During growing season, remove branches affected by fire blight at least 6” below affected area. Between cuts, dip tools in alcohol or a 10% bleach solution.
Make sure to water newly planted fruit trees and strawberries. Trim off runners of strawberries to increase production, if not needed for propagation.
Make softwood cuttings now until midsummer of grapes.
TREES, SHRUBS AND ROSES
Watch for tent caterpillars late in the month. BT will control them.
Cut off any dead or diseased wood on roses, sealing the cuts with water-based or wood glue to discourage wasp cane borers. Spread bone meal, Epsom salts and composted manure or alfalfa meal around roses, leaving a 2” empty space on the surface of the soil around rose stems. Take softwood cuttings of roses after petal fall.
MOTHER’S DAY SPECIALS! MAY 13 AND 14
2-FOR-1 CRACKERJACK MARIGOLDS (4” AND 6-PACKS)
2-FOR-1 BLACK PETUNIAS (4”)
PLUS MANY OTHER SPECIALS THROUGHOUT THE STORE!!!