Gardening Tips for May 2019

Dear Gardening Friends,

Spring has finally arrived! One thing this past April has taught me besides patience is a new appreciation for snowdrops. They have just kept blooming through it all and when the snow melted, there they were again. I will have some available at my plant sale on the 18th.

Patience is the other feature of this spring. I still can’t get into parts of my garden because the soil is just too wet. In my haste to start potting up for the perennial sale I did take a few steps where I shouldn’t and stepped on a perennial that wasn’t up yet. Now it is coming up all bent and it was my impatience. Don’t make the same mistake!

The following are a few tips.

  • It’s still OK to prune non spring blooming trees and shrubs although the time is passing quickly. Check for the leaf buds. If they are opening the optimum time has passed. However if something is in the way or really needs a pruning you’re not going to harm the shrub.
  • Dead branches can be removed at any time.
  • Now that perennials and bulbs are sprouting it’s important to remove winter much. I’m still leaving a “light” coating of leaves for protection during the cold nights.
  • Weeding should be a priority. There are a few weeds to watch out for that are starting to bloom now.
  • One is hairy bitter cress. It pulls out easily and it’s important to get it out before it drops seed as it makes hundreds of them. It’s a small pretty little fern like plant with very small white flowers. For more information and pictures go to: http://erie.cce.cornell.edu/resources/article-10-invasives-hairy-bittercress
  • Lesser celandine is another weed that is up now and easy to spot. This is an extremely invasive plant that unfortunately is very pretty. It’s a short (2-3 inch) ground cover with heart shaped waxy green leaves and bright yellow flowers. It dies in back in early summer like a tulip or daffodil so you have to weed them out now before you can no longer see them. These do not pull up easily so you have to be sure to dig out all the roots and the very small bulbs at the end of the roots. Don’t knock off excess dirt as these small bulbs will drop back to the soil and start over next year. For more information and pictures go to: http://www.nyis.info/index.php?action=invasive_detail&id=71
  • Any other weeds you spot should also be removed. Everyone you remove now will be easier to get rid now than after they mature and you will eliminate seed disbursement.
  • The soil is still much too cold to plant greenhouse grown perennials, annuals and vegetables. Wait until the soil is above 50 degrees. As an example, tomatoes planted too soon don’t do as well as those planted at the end of May. Remember Patience! The final average frost isn’t until late May so don’t get fooled by a few warm days.
  • Perennials currently coming up in your garden that need to be moved or divided can be moved since they are used to the current soil temperature. However, don’t move them until the soil is “workable” which means the soil will break apart easily after you make a ball of it in your hand. Clumpy soil won’t settle around the roots well and cause air pockets which can dry out the roots.
  • If you have problems with deer, rabbits and other critters start your spraying, fencing, caging or whatever you do. I’ve already had damage and quickly put up some caging. Will spray on a non-rainy day. Since the plants are growing fast now I spray susceptible plants every week until they reach full size then cut back to every 3-4 weeks.

RECYCLE pots, treys & blinds here. I can use pots 4 inches and up and flat carrying treys. No 6 packs. Also if you are discarding any Venetian blinds or see some in the garbage, please save them for me. I use the blinds for price tags for the plant sale and won’t have many left after this year. Just drop them off in front of the garage. The address is below. You can also drop off at 37 N. Union in Wmsvl.. It’s a circular drive and pots & blinds can be left behind the house on the grass. THANKS!!!!

Don’t forget to contact me for a garden consult. I can help improve your garden and gardening practices. Guaranteed to save you time and money.