Every green thumb needs to see this checklist for gardening tips in May

FEATURE — April showers bring May flowers — as well as a plethora of gardening tasks.

Utah State University Extension’s Gardener’s Almanac provides a checklist for each month as well as links for tips and other helpful information. Here’s May’s checklist for Southern Utah’s gardeners:

  • Plant warm-season vegetables and annual flowers once the threat of the last frost has passed.
  • By planting tomatoes deeper, they are able to form more roots along the stem, creating a more vigorous plant.
  • Consider planting sweet corn in the garden every other week (until early July) to extend the harvest.
  • Consider the various types of fertilizers.
  • Thin out overcrowded seedlings using a pair of scissors, trying to avoid disturbing the young roots.
  • Protect fruit blossoms and tender garden plants from late freezing temperatures.
  • Plant summer-blooming bulbs including gladiola, begonia, dahlia and canna.
  • Divide warm-season ornamental grasses when new growth begins to emerge.
  • It’s already time to take notice of weeds.
  • Allow the foliage of spring blooming bulbs (tulips, daffodils and crocus) to die down before cutting the leaves off.
  • Now’s a good time to consider your options for planting a lawn.
  • Turfgrass needs minimal irrigation each week.
  • In compacted sites, aerate with hollow core aerator when turfgrass is actively growing (April – June).
  • Control broadleaf weeds in the lawn when temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees. Follow the label and stop use of broadleaf herbicides once the temperature is above 85 degrees.
  • Apply a slow-release lawn fertilizer to provide a long-lasting effect throughout the summer months.

 Pests and problems

  • Monitor newly planted vegetables for cutworm and flea beetle
  • Monitor for cankerworm damage on scrub oak and Box Elder trees along the foothills.
  • Monitor for aphids on lush new spring growth on a variety of plants. Treat for aphids by using “softer” solutions such as spraying them with a hard stream of water or by using an insecticidal soap.
  • Monitor for slugs and snails. These pests thrive in moist, cool areas of the garden and landscape, feeding on a variety of plant hosts.
  • Protect Ash trees from the lilac-ash borer around the first of May
  • Control codling moth in apples and pears to reduce wormy fruit. For specific timing, see the Utah Pests Advisories.
  • Treat for powdery mildew on apples beginning when leaves are emerging (at ½-inch green) until June.
  • Watch for insect pests in raspberries from mid-May thru early June.
  • Watch for cutworm damage in turfgrass and new vegetable starts.
  • Monitor for damaging turfgrass insects. In areas previously damaged, consider a preventative (systemic) insecticide.

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