Here are the things for you to do for and in your garden in May 2020 taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.
- Find out your average last frost date (May 11 in Thornbury) and allow at least an additional 2 weeks (May 25) before you plant out tender transplants and warm weather plants, e.g. beans and corn.
- For my money, June 1 is the earliest to put out tender annuals.
- If you are growing seedlings, don’t forget to harden them off before transplanting them into your garden.
- Consider protective measures against slugs, cutworms, earwigs and tent caterpillars.
- Your Hybrid Tea roses should already be pruned back to 6” to 8” and any dead ends from other roses.
- Treat roses against black spot and aphids as required.
- IMPORTANT Take notes and photos of your bulb plantings in bloom for possible changes and additions next fall.
- Deadhead faded tulips and daffodil blooms. Leave the leaves to wither and die so they can charge up the bulbs for bloom next spring.
- If not done already, fertilize lawns with slow release lawn fertilizer. Look for a high Nitrogen number (the first number on the bag. The extra cost is worth it.
- Treat lawns against weeds and grubs as required.
- Start regular hoeing and hand-weeding of garden beds.
- Add well rotted manure to improve the friability (look it up) of your soil.
- Mulch newly planted seedlings and shrubs, plus 2’' to 3” on bare spots in your gardens to suppress weeds for the rest of the summer.
- Stake and tie shrubs, vines and soon-to-be tall perennials as required.
- Plant tender summer bulbs, e.g. dahlias and glads for colour and cutting.