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Mike's Mini-Garden Calendar

May

Thereís nothing to do for the cool season lawn this month except cutting it as high as possible. Set the mower to cut at 3 Ĺ inches high. Water your lawn properly. Place an empty tuna can in the middle of the stream of your lawn sprinkler and run the water until it fills. This should be an inch of water, the amount your lawn needs each week either from rain or watering. A warm season lawn may be planted in May. Centipede, St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bermuda varieties are popular in this area. Centipede is easiest to care for. It only requires one feeding in July. A special Centipede fertilizer is recommended since this type of grass doesnít like a lot of nitrogen or lime. Zoysia seems to produce the prettiest lawn; it takes a while to establish, but will last for a long time. It does require more feedings. Bermuda is probably the cheapest to establish, but can be very invasive when it comes to the flower bed. St. Augustine produces a thicker blade but the "Raleigh" variety seems to do fairly well as far west as the Triangle. All warm season grasses are cut shorter than fescue and blue grass. They also seem to be more adapted to Zone 7 and 8 growing regions than fescue and more drought tolerant. May is probably as good a time as any to aerate a warm season lawn. Milky spore can be applied this month to rid the lawn of grubs. This product should last up to twenty years if applied properly.

Continue spraying roses for black spot and other fungus type diseases. And watch out for insect pests like aphids. When the flowers fade you need to cut of f the spent blooms. Cut back blooming climbers after they bloom.

Most of the spring flowering shrubs can be pruned now as their blooms fade. You can plant new container grown varieties. They do need to be watched closely. Young plants donít have very well developed root systems and can die quickly if they are not watered properly. Make sure to buy the right plant for the right location in your landscape. Buying named varieties will assure that you have the right information for size and other characteristics before you commit yourself to a location in your yard. Watch out for diseases like scale, and fungus and insect pests on shrubs and trees.

This is a good time to plant annuals like petunias, vinca, impatiens and salvia. Fertilize about once a month through the growing season. Annuals and Perennials also need water and fertilizer.

We donít get as many questions about vegetable gardening on the "WPTF Weekend Gardener" as we used to, but May is a great time to seed things like cucumbers, squash and beans. Itís also a good time to plant your favorite tomato variety.


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