Summer is nearly upon us, and our landscape plants are working hard to bloom and grow. The amount of garden tasks we have to do each day may seem overwhelming, but here are some tasks to focus on in the month ahead to keep your yard looking fantastic. Your May to-do list is here!
Growing the Garden
Any plants you put in the ground around this time need to be able to withstand our summer heat. Some great options for your landscape beds include torenia, begonia, coleus, pentas, angelonia, salvia, and ornamental pepper. When given some partial shade to hide them from the worst of the afternoon sunlight, these species will thrive. You can also spruce up porches, mailboxes, and other small areas with potted lilies. They tend to do well when they’re planted in clumps with crowded roots, so keeping the bulbs confined to a small area will actually benefit them and increase the amount of flowers you see.
Woody herbs like rosemary and tarragon do well in the summer heat, along with other herbs like basil, lemongrass, ginger, and cumin. Prune them back frequently to encourage thicker, bushier growth. You can also maximize your garden’s production by planting some vegetables that grow throughout the middle of summer like sweet potato, hot peppers, and Brazilian spinach.
Watch Out For Pests
Unfortunately, with heat comes pests. Check your plants regularly so that you can catch infestations of scale, mites, and thrips can save you lots of money and heartbreak. Be sure to prune away diseased or dying branches to contain any infestations. It also helps to dip your pruning shears into rubbing alcohol in between each cut to ensure that you don’t inadvertently spread any disease. Keep an eye on your tomato plants in general, as they tend to be attacked by pests or suffer from nutritional deficiencies around this time of the season. When transplanting seedlings from indoors to outdoors, be sure to take a week or two to properly harden them off; the sudden transplant can cause shock when they’re exposed to much higher levels of heat or sunlight than they’re used to.
Perform Proper Lawn Care
As part of your May to-do list, double check that you are mowing to the recommended height for your lawn. If you mow the grass too short, you risk allowing weeds to encroach. A good rule of thumb to follow, even if you don’t know what type of grass species you have, is to mow your lawn to a height between 2.5 and 3.5 inches tall. When caring for your turfgrass, be on the lookout for signs of chinch bugs (especially in St. Augustine grass) or mole cricket hatchlings (particularly on bahia lawns).
Be Hurricane Ready
Hurricane season is just getting started, so take the time now to prune any weak or dead branches from your trees that might blow off and cause damage. You want your trees at their strongest to battle the winds. For tall trees or trees that are growing near power lines, be sure to hire a professional arborist to do the majority of the pruning.
Keep up with the May to-do list, and you’ll find yourself with a beautiful lawn and property. For any lawncare needs or supplies, be sure to stop into one of our 4 Big Earth Landscape Supply locations.