• What To Fertilize:
    Fertilize summer flowering plants like crape myrtle and rose-of-Sharon this month. Side dress or fertilize your vegetables 6 to 8 weeks after germination. The second application of fertilizer can be made to azaleas now.

    Fertilize all types of roses with a tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer sprinkled on top of the soil beneath each plant. Continue feeding throughout the growing season every four to six weeks until about two months before the first frost is expected.


  • What To Plant:
    Plant gladiola corms this month along with other summer bulbs such as common dahlias and caladiums. The following vegetable plants can be set out this month: eggplant, pepper, tomato, and sweet potato. The following vegetable seeds can be planted this month: beans, lima beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, okra, southern peas, pumpkin, squash, and watermelon.

    Cool-weather annuals, such as pansies, will begin to look tired as the days get hot. It's time to pull them out, work the soil, and replant with warm-weather annuals.


  • What To Prune:
    Prune your hybrid rhodendron after they finish flowering as well as other spring flowering shrubs. Prune any hedges that have outgrown their desired shape. Begin pinching your chrysanthemums and continue through mid-July. Pick off azalea and sasanqua leaf galls as they form. Do NOT cut back spring bulb foliage until it turns yellow and brown.


  • Pest Outlook:
    Check the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae, juniper and leyland cypress-bag worm, azalea-lacebug, boxwood leafminer, camellia-tea scale, crape myrtle-aphid, dogwood-borer, euonymus-scale, hemlock and juniper-spider mites, pyracantha-lace bug and white pine weevil. Spray hybrid rhododendron for borers. Spray iris beds for iris borers. Spray the following vegetables if insects are observed: cucumber-cucumber beetle, squash-borer and aphids, tomato and eggplant-flea beetle, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for worms. Begin corn ear worm control at early silking and continue through the late silking stages. Weekly sprays on red-tip photinia for leaf spot. Continue with weekly rose spray program. Keep spraying your tree fruits and bunch grapes with a fungicide program. To control poison ivy and honeysuckle, begin spraying this month with a recommended weed killer. Slugs can also be a problem in the vegetable garden as well as the flower beds. Slugs will hide during the daytime beneath a board placed over damp ground. Check each morning and destroy any slugs that have gathered on the underside of the board.


  • Lawn Care:
    Fertilize warm season grasses like Bermudagrass and zoysia this month. Do NOT fertilize tall fescue now. Start any warm season lawns like zoysia, Bermudagrass, and centipedegrass in May. Broadleaf weeds such as dandelion and plantain can be controlled with a post emergent herbicide such as Weed-B-Gon.


  • Propagation:
    Take softwood cuttings of plants like clematis, chrysanthemum, and geranium in late May if you have a misting system.


  • Specific Chores:
    Purchase locally grown strawberries!  Move houseplants outside if desired.

    Help tall flowers such as foxgloves and peonies stand up to heavy spring rains by putting a stake beside the crown and tying the stalk loosely with green twine or twist ties.

    When lettuce, cabbage, and kale grow out of their rosette and start to flower its called bolting and these have outgrown their usefulness.

    If spring rains have been sparse, begin irrigating - especially plants growing in full sun. But make sure it is done to establish deep rooting by watering for long periods only once or twice a week.

    These Birds Are Humming To A Yard Near You

    Attention nature lovers: if you are interested in attracting hummingbirds to your yard, here are a few tips for you:

    There are two ways to attract hummingbirds, commonly referred to as "hummers." The best way is to provide their favorite nectaring blossoms, usually red in color.

    You will have to choose your plants carefully. Many landscape plants are not suitable for nectar-seekers. Plants such as Coral Bean, Red Star Hibiscus, Lantana, Trumpet Vine, Coral Honeysuckle, Butterfly Milkweed, Red Basil, Cardinal Flower, Scarlet Morning Glory, Cypress Vine and Standing Cypress are recommended. Most of these require full sun.

    It is best to plant a variety of species and to arrange these flowers in several groupings. Nesting hummingbirds are aggressive and territorial around their food source, so having more than one flower garden will allow several hummers to feed at the same time without conflict. The hummers feed most comfortably from blossoms two feet or higher above the ground.

    Hummingbirds use nectar in these plants to sustain their fast-paced lifestyle. In fact, hummers give new meaning to the old clich‚ "eat like a bird" - they must feed every 10-15 minutes from dawn until dusk. Hummingbirds will eat more than half their weight in food and eight times their weight in water.

    The other way to attract hummers is to provide a sugar-water mixture in feeders. If you choose to supplement the bird's natural diet in this way, you will need to protect them from hazardous, spoiled solutions. Sugar solutions can be made using one part white granulated cane sugar to four parts water. Heat the sugar solution to help dissolve the sugar and after it has cooled, pour it into a red feeder. It is not necessary to add red food coloring. The birds will be attracted to the red feeders.

    Sugar solutions must be kept fresh. The feeders should be placed where rain will not dilute the nectar and where they won't be in direct sunlight.

    Use sugar only. Using a sweeter solution, a sugar substitute, or honey might be lethal to hummers. Also, it is important feeders are cleaned with hot water and white vinegar, never with soap or bleach.

    Oftentimes, sugar solutions attract more pesty ants than they do birds. A simple solution is to moisten the hanging wire with a little vegetable oil. In addition, many commercially available feeders come equipped with plastic bee guards.






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