The weather is warming up, flowers are blooming and the garden is awake. It is time to get diggin’!
Here’s our list of things to do this month to keep the garden looking great.
• Finish preparing your planting beds by adding organic material and soil amendments.
• Cultivate planting beds and remove weeds. To make maintenance easier, use Preen, a pre-emergent weed preventer when planting.
• Dig and divide early-blooming perennials once they’ve finished flowering.
• Divide and transplant late summer and fall blooming perennials, if necessary.
• Set supports for floppy plants, like delphinium.
• Set up sprinklers and start a regular watering program. Be sure your lawn and plants get about an inch of water a week.
• Mulch landscape beds, adding a two to three-inch layer of pine bark mulch or nuggets to help reduce weeds and conserve moisture.
• Deadhead bulb plants as the flowers fade, but allow foliage to remain until yellow to nourish bulbs for next year’s display.
• Look for pests. Early detection is the key to plant health. If something doesn’t look right or has insects, bring a sample in a baggie to our Garden Pharmacy desk to get a diagnosis. One of our garden pharmacists will write a “Plantscription” for its cure. It’s easier to treat a problem at the first sign of an issue. Watch our video to learn more.
• Begin application of deer and rabbit repellents if you find critters are.
• Wait to prune evergreens, hedges, and other shrubs until the end of this month. • Fertilize your plants with a slow-release, organic plant food such as Espoma.
• Prune plants, removing winter dieback and visible signs of winter damage. Also remove diseased, dead, weak or crossing branches.
• Plant summer annuals after the last frost date, a good rule of thumb is after Mother’s Day.
• Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as gladiolus and dahlias. Plant a few every week to ensure continuous blooms.
• Plant deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, as well as perennials.
• Repair any bare patches in your lawn. Fill in bare spots by loosening the soil surface and sowing a good quality lawn seed over the area evenly. Tamp the seed in gently and water. Keep the patch moist by using a paper mulch or straw.
• Fertilize your lawn around Memorial Day.
• Re-cut bed edges to keep things looking neat and tidy.
- Once the threat of frost is gone, and nighttime temperatures stay in the 50s of higher, you can start transitioning your plants outdoors for the summer.
- Place them in a shaded area for a few days and then gradually increase the amount of time they spend in the sun every few days.
- Keep in mind most plants cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Even those who like bright light indoors.
- For most plants morning sun and afternoon shade will keep them thriving outdoors.
- Make sure any shade plants are protected from direct sun at all times.
Watch our video: Enjoying House Plants Outdoors to learn more.
For more information visit any English Gardens location and talk with one of our experts.