What to do in the garden in May

We finally have had some decent spring weather, and things in the garden, if not heating up, are at least warming up. So what now?

Our friends at Oregon State University Extension Service have their May garden calendar, which has many great tips and ideas. Click the link to see all of them. Here are a few:

  • Get your irrigation system ready for summer.
  • Use a soil thermometer to determine whether it’s time to plant certain vegetables. The soil needs to be consistently above 70 F to plant tomatoes, squash, melons, peppers and eggplant.
  • It’s rhody care time! You can fertilize rhododendrons and azaleas (which are a type of rhododendron) with acid-type fertilizer. After they have bloomed, you should remove spent blossoms.
  • Those dahlia bulbs you ordered? Time to plant them. That goes for gladiolus and begonia bulbs as well, and if you don’t have any, time to visit your local nursery or garden center. Find them here.
  • Practice preventive pest management. You can brush up on what that means here, and be sure to use your Master Gardener hotline as a resource.

Another thing you can do in May is plant seeds or starts. Portland Nursery’s helpful Veggie Calendar (PDF) tells you what you can do right now. Be sure to pay attention to conditions, not just the calendar. It’s been an unusually cold and late year up until now. You can pick up the seeds and starts you need from many of our local garden centers.

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