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May Garden Guide

Usually, the weather is warm enough for gardeners to spend all day outdoors attending to their spring landscaping tasks and getting ready for beautiful blooming flowers and lush green lawns. Whether you are a gardening beginner or a highly-skilled gardener, here’s a few tips to help prepare you and your yard for growing season.

Flowers

  • Perennial flowers will start to wake up now that winter is over. They will require warm soil, sun and plenty of water to develop their roots.
  • When planting perennial flowers in the garden, be sure to space them out properly. It can approximately take several years for perennials to reach their full growth. Gently, water your perennials after planting from a watering can or a hose end sprayer.
  • You can also plant some perennials in containers. Heucheras, small hostas, dahlias and daylilies are often successful in growing in containers.
  • Some annual flowers you can plant in the month of May include petunias, pansies, violas and snapdragons to add vibrant splashes of colour to your garden.
  • Just make sure you don’t plant a summer loving annual too early, as cold nights can be tough on them. Be sure to plant them on a cloudy day. This can help protect your beautiful newly planted annuals from having too much sun as they settle into their new habitat. Just like with perennial flowers, gently water them after planting from a watering can or a hose end sprayer.

Shrubs

  • When it comes to planting shrubs, deciduous shrubs such as azaleas, lilacs and weigela sonic bloom in red or pink can be planted in May.
  • Coniferous shrubs like junipers and pines can be planted this month. Be sure to plant them on a cloudy day as well.
  • Spring gardening also consists of pruning your shrubs. Inspect your garden first to see if any shrubs need pruning and you know what you are cutting. You don’t want to prune anything too early or anything that flows with sap.

Vegetables

  • Vegetable seeds that can usually be planted this month are sweet peas, who thrive in cooler soil, lettuce, tomatoes, artichoke, asparagus and peppers.
  • Some gardeners like to plant vegetables in late spring, but if you have the time and the weather is right you can start to plant them in May.
  • You can plant any vegetables you may have stored indoors in the winter and move them outdoors.
  • When planting any veggies, take into consideration how much space you will leave in between vegetable rows, so you will be able to comfortably reach for them and be able to work on them throughout the year.

Weeding

  • When you notice the soil is moist, you can remove any weeds from your garden. The weeds should be able to slip out a bit easier with moist conditions rather than pulling the weeds from dry soil.
  • The sooner you can tackle weeds in your yard for spring, the less weed pulling you will need to do in the summer heat.
  • If you notice any weeds growing on or near your backyard patio or driveway, boil hot water and pour it over the pesky weeds. This is a common non-toxic way of killing garden weeds.
  • Mulch certain areas of your garden to help prevent weeds and reduce the need to weed.

Additional garden maintenance

  • Any dead leaves and debris can be raked, just make sure the ground is dry enough.
  • Inspect your garden for any potential damage snow and ice may have inflicted on it.
  • Think about any potential backyard landscaping additions you’d like to add such as a flagstone walkway, a small pond, fire pit or a treehouse.

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