Let’s Talk About May, 2017
By: Pat Cordray
So, we couldn’t slow the train down at all and now it is May!!! We all know what happens this month, don’t we? The good news first; there are blooms. I must admit that I don’t have as many blooms on plants as last year, the freeze took care of that for me. But, my
almond verbena did not mind the cold and it is blooming and smelling fine as we speak. If you are not familiar with this plant, it is a shrub/small tree, with tiny white flowers that smell like
sweet almond. This is not the most beautiful plant but wow, the fragrance is spectacular! My camellias were also full of beautiful blooms this year, my First Love Gardenia has huge buds t
hat are about to explode and this has been a great year for my grand duke jasmine, I have never had so many blooms. Now the bad news. Okay, I won’t dally any longer, you know what else May brings us? It is the same every year; heat, humidity, and bugs.
I noticed quite a few of my plants just didn’t bloom this spring. My forest pansy redbud just had a couple of blossoms. No pink jasmine blooms. No iris blooms. Everything has green leaves now, so these plants are healthy. This just wasn’t their year.
May’s gardening list starts with helping those blooming plants by fertilizing them now. Azaleas and camellias can be fertilized now. Do you have bulbs in the ground? You can fertilize them also. If you have planted annuals you may need to fertilize them to help keep them blooming. Don’t forget to feed your crape myrtles too. They bloom all summer for us so let’s help them out now. I like Microlife 6-2-4 for all my plants, from my lawn to my trees and from my shrubs to my flowering plants. Microlife is easy to use, just spread it around your plants and water it in. It is simple and I don’t have to worry if I touch it or if my granddaughter runs barefoot in my lawn. Microlife is fortified with: Alfalfa, fish meal, kelp meal, soy meal, wheat middling’s, rock phosphate, bat guano, potassium sulfate, iron sulfate, sulfate of potash magnesia, humates, molasses, corn meal, cottonseed meal, homogenized with 2% Fe, 70 trace minerals, enzymes and beneficial microorganisms, including Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizal fungi. This is what to use to get that soil healthy and if your soil is healthy your plants will be too.
May is also a time to change out some of the fall to spring plants for more summer hardy plants. Some of the best color plants for the summer sun are coreopsis, Gomphrena, cone flower, Mexican heather, all kinds of salvia,
vinca (have you seen how big the Nirvana vinca flowers are?), blue daze, scaevola, angelonia, coleus, pentas, etc. These plants seem to love our heat and sun. They will bloom for the season and on into the fall & winter as long it is warm. Many of these are perennials so they may last for several years with the proper care.
For part sun (am sun only) to shade areas plant color here too. Torenia, coleus, shrimp plant, mona lavender, Persian shield, caladiums, Pigeonberry, begonia, impatiens, jacobinia, crossandras, columbine, Ajuga, snow-N -summer asiatic jasmine. These plants make a shady area more inviting. Help your plants bloom more with great soil and care.
Vegetables anyone? Yes, there is still time to plant. Okra, eggplant,
cantaloupe, Swiss chard, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, peas, pumpkins can be added to your garden now. I have had fun with vegetables this year. I have already harvested potatoes, Swiss chard, and onions and I am looking forward to picking my zucchini, peas, beans, tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon, yum.
One more thing, water. Most plants need water regularly. As we get warmer, more water is needed but not so much that water is running down the street. Watering also gives you a chance to check your plants for signs of pests and to prevent problems from spreading. Good soil, the right amount of sun and the right food makes for happy plants.
Take the time to enjoy your garden,