May

  Plant:

  • Consider white rain lilies (Zephyranthes candida) as a natural border in the flower bed. They are almost indestructible in zone 8 conditions.
  • Now is a good time to create summer containers exhibiting succulents such as echeverias, sedums or house leeks (sempervivums). The larger rosettes of the echeverias and sempervivums may be situated in the container with edgings of smaller-leaved sedums.
  • Plant caladium tubers, petunias, impatiens, begonias and torenias in well prepared shady areas.
  • Blackberries, coleus, copper plants, mums, fall asters, Mexican bush sage.
  • Hostas are good companion plants with ferns. They are perennials but will die back in the winter, only to emerge once again in the early spring.
  • This is best time to plant bermuda, hybrid bermudas, St. Augustine, zoysia, & buffalo grass.
  • Trees, shrubs and other nursery stock.
  • Summer & fall perennials from 6”, quart, and gallon pots.
  • Vegetables that require hot weather to grow and mature: sweet potatoes, southern peas, okra.
  • Herbs into vegetable garden, flowerbeds and patio pots.

 

 Prune:

  • Cut off old blossoms on spring flowering annuals, such as pansies, snapdragons, stock and calendulas, to prolong the flowering season.
  • Pinch back the terminal growth on newly planted annual and perennial plants.  This will result in shorter, more compact, better branched plants with more flowers.
  • Trees to allow more sunlight to reach turfgrass below.

 Fertilize:

  • Woody landscape plants with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer every 8-10 weeks. Half or more of the nitrogen needs to be in quality, slow-release form.
  • Turf with the same food. Water deeply into the soil. We do not recommend weed and feed products. Plants need to be fertilized at a different time than they need pre and post-emergent herbicides.
  • Annuals and perennials with same fertilizer.
  • Pecans with final of 3 monthly applications of all-nitrogen fertilizer, one pound per inch of trunk diameter.
  • Iron-chlorotic plants with iron/sulfur combo product. ie gardenias, wisteria, dogwoods, mimosas, azaleas.
  • Container plants with 20-20-20 or similar complete-and-balanced

 Watch For:

  • Webworms and tent caterpillars on pecans, walnuts and other shade and nut trees. Remove physically with pole pruner when webs begin to form.
  • Bagworms strip needles from junipers, arborvitae and other cone-bearing plants.
  • Apply Bacillus thuringiensis (“B.t.”) or almost any inorganic insecticide when you first see immature larvae starting to feed.
  • Scale insects in hollies, euonymus, crape myrtles and other landscape plants will adhere to leaves and stems and appear to be immobile. Apply summer-weight oil spray or systemic insecticide.
  • Lace bugs will begin to damage pyracanthas, azaleas, Boston ivy, bur and chinquapin oaks, sycamores and other trees, shrubs and vines. Look for tiny, tan freckles showing through on leaves: black, waxy specks on backs. Use systemic insecticide.
  • Leafrollers tie leaves of groundcover vinca, cannas, pyracantha, redbuds, sweetgums together. Apply systemic insecticide. Remember date when you first observe them, and make application 2 or 3 weeks earlier next year.
  • Early blight causes yellowed blotches on lower leaves of tomatoes. Apply labeled fungicide.
  • Black spot on roses causes large, yellow blotches with dark brown or black spots in centers. Apply labeled rose fungicide every 7-10 days until summer.
  • Powdery mildew looks like dusting of flour on plants’ leaves. Keep foliage dry and apply approved fungicide.
  • Nutsedge (nutgrass) has triangular stems. Apply formula for nutsedge control.
  • Poison ivy, dollarweed, dichondra and other non-grassy weeds – treat with a 2,4-d broadleaf weedkiller.

 

 Remember:

This is the time of year when snakes start moving. So think twice when you walk through or reach into grassy or vine covered areas.  Wearing gloves might save more than your fingernails.

 

“Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.”  ~Author Unknown

 

Information collected from Neil Sperry and Dr. William Welch, Professor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service Landscape Horticulturist

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