can be a frenzied time for gardeners, as our outdoor
obligations fully awaken from their long winterís nap.
Temperatures ó of the soil as well as the air ó are
rising, and plants are popping up. Like newborn babies,
they demand attention immediately, and weíre all too
happy to oblige. So pull on your gardening gloves,
inhale the scent of the lilacs, settle vegetable
seedlings into their beds and, of course, start pulling
those weeds. Hereís a chore or tip for each day of the
month to help you stay on track.
Treat yourself to some new perennials and start planting
them now (or as soon as the threat of frost has past in
Mulch beds and borders to suppress weeds, retain
moisture and improve your soil. Never create
"volcanoes" around trees or mulch deeper than
If you didnít last month, aerate and dethatch the lawn
Incorporate compost into planting beds to enrich the
Itís Cinco de Mayo! Plant cilantro to give your summer
recipes a Mexican flair.
When buying cell pack annuals, seek out young, bloomless
plants. Theyíll be healthier.
Fertilize cabbage, lettuce, spinach and other
If houseplants are outgrowing their containers, repot
them, but go up only to the next size.
Keep on top of weeds. To make the job easier, wait until
after rainfall or hose down the area first.
Clean and store bird feeders.
Begin planting gladiolus: Place corms pointy end up in
full sun, 4 to 6 inches apart. Repeat weekly until
Sow seeds of summer-blooming perennials and biennials
directly into the garden.
Happy Motherís Day! Kids, do the weeding and watering
Itís time to plant corn.
Prune gray tips from juniper branches.
Check the undersides of hollyhock leaves for orange
pustules, telltale signs of rust fungus, and remove
Set a soaker hose over roots around newly planted trees.
Water deeply now and throughout their first year.
Prune spring-flowering shrubs as soon as their blossoms
If the lilacs are blooming, itís time to plant
Transplant herb seedlings outdoors. Give them water, but
Check asparagus daily and harvest when spears are 6
inches tall, but not if plants are less than 2 years
If nighttime temperatures are reliably above 55 degrees,
itís safe to plant annuals outdoors.
Start hardening off vegetable seedlings: Set them in
shade for longer periods each day for a week before
Avoid synthetic chemicals: Deal with pests with
pyrethrins, Bt, insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Gradually move houseplants outdoors, but never African
Move tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons and other
summer crops into the garden and apply mulch.
Fertilize tulip bulbs but donít remove foliage until
it has browned and withered.
Itís Memorial Day, time to fertilize the lawn. Apply
one pound of slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square
For bushier plants, shear an inch off dianthus and
creeping phlox when 6 inches tall.
Replace fading pansies with your favorite summer