May in the Garden

by Jane & Wilson Grahame
  • Deadhead tulips and daffodils but leave stems and leaves to die down.
  • Leave flower heads of smaller bulbs such as squill and grape hyacinths to allow them to seed themselves.
  • Fertilize bulbs – they will flower well next year.
  • Pull out forget-me-nots and wallflowers after they have finished blooming.  Add them to your compost
  • Sow seeds of the above for next year.
  • Thin out annuals that were sown earlier, retaining the best & strongest plants.
  • Pinch out growing tips of chrysanthemums & asters to promote bushy growth.
  • Stake all perennials such as delphiniums, before they get too tall.
  • Lightly shear back early spring flowering perennials such as aubretia, arabis & alyssum.
  • Plant dahlia tubers, making sure to drive in the stakes first, to avoid damage to the tubers.
  • Buy bedding plants but wait until at least May 15th to plant them out.  Plant tubs, hanging baskets and window boxes.
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs after they have finished blooming, i.e. keria japonica, forsythia, spiraea & flowering quince.  Prune out old wood and shape messy or overgrown shrubs to create a better-looking plant.
  • Deadhead azaleas & rhododendrons.
  • Mulch irises and rhododendrons – use compost or aged manure.
  • Fertilize rhododendrons after blooming – at the drip line.
  • Keep newly planted trees, shrubs & lawns well watered.
  • Keep a lookout for slugs, snails & aphids.
  • WEED.  Be careful in areas where you have sown seed so you don’t remove the new sprouts.
  • Set up birdbaths – empty regularly and keep clean.
  • Clip spent blooms from heathers.

Posted in Gardening Tips