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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR MAY

MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH: Fair and mild (1,2,3) with showers (4,5).  Fair and warm (6,7,8,9,10,11,12)with more showers and severe STORMS (13,14,15,16). Fair and warm again (17,18,19) with more STORMS, some severe (20,21,22,23,24,25,26). Fair and mild (27,28,29,30) with STORMS in the northern part of the region (31).   

     

GARDENING ACTIVITIES

FOR  MAY



A THOUGHT 
FOR TODAY'S LIVING 

"Meeting another person more than half way will very often repay you many times in the future.  "

John Gruber (1768-1857)

MAY GARDENING ACTIVITIES

L

ook around and take notice of what your neighbors are growing in their gardens and what they are creating in their landscapes. Think of how you might utilize some of their ideas along with your own brainstorms to make your garden just a little bit better.

Carrots, lettuce, potatoes, corn, beans, peas and most popular vegetables, with the exception of the warmer weather crops, can be seeded or planted into the vegetable garden at any time now.   Wait until mid to late May before planting the warmer weather crops like Tomatoes, Squash, cucumber, pumpkins and peppers.

With a little luck, you may begin to see the first fruit on your strawberries by late this month. The birds will enjoy them very much if you don't provide some protective netting over them. Newly planted strawberries should have the blossoms picked off until they become well established.

CARE FOR THOSE TREES AND SHRUBS

It's still not too late to fertilize your trees and shrubs.  Use a Rhododendron- or Evergreen-type of plant food to feed acid-loving plants like Azaleas, Camellias,  and Junipers, etc.  Use an all-purpose garden fertilizer (10-10-10) to feed roses, deciduous shrubs, and trees.  Be sure to water the fertilizer in thoroughly after it is applied.  

Early flowering deciduous shrubs such as Forsythias, Weigela, and Spirea should be pruned back when they have finished blooming. Cut back a third of the oldest canes to ground level, then cut back one third of the remaining branches by one third of their height.

Remove the wilting seed heads from Rhododendrons and Azaleas so that the plants energy can go to foliage growth and next year’s flowers, rather than seeds.

Work lime in the soil around your Hydrangeas to produce pink flowers or Aluminum Sulphate for blue blooms.

Remove any sucker growths from fruit trees as soon as they appear!

Keep a vigilante eye on the roses. Keep them sprayed for aphids and other pests and diseases such as black spot.

Pines and other conifers can be kept to a compact size by pinching off the new growth 'candles'.

Lilacs should be pruned lightly after they finish blooming, removing sucker growths and dead blooms.  Feed them during this month with a good all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer after they have finished blooming.  If your soil is acidic, work a little lime into the soil as well.

Trim up hedges and shrubs to shape and tighten them with new growth. Most flowering shrubs will respond to a light trimming at this time of year. Don’t trim away too many of the emerging buds or you won’t have as many flowers.May is a good month to repair your lawn. Fill in the bare spots by slightly loosening surface of the soil and sow a good quality lawn seed over the area evenly. Tamp the seed in gently and water. Keep the patch moist by covering with light mulch of lawn clippings.  This is the time to eliminate lawn weeds by hand pulling, or the application of a 'weed and feed' fertilizer.... before they go to seed! Setting your mower for a higher cut during the spring months will help the grass to grow in fuller and help choke out the weeds.