May Garden Calendar - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

May Garden Calendar

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HOME (Indoor plants and activities)

Many indoor plants can be moved to shady locations outdoors but only after the danger of frost has passed. Plants will dry out more often outdoors, so keep a close eye on soil moisture. Sinking the pots in soil will help slow down moisture loss.

Now is a good time to take cuttings of houseplants to increase a collection or share with friends. Stick cuttings to root in media, such as vermiculite, perlite, or potting soil. Roots grown in water tend to be weak from lack of oxygen and do not adjust well to planting in soil.

Fertilize houseplants according to label directions. Foliage plants require relatively high nitrogen fertilizer; flowering houseplants respond best to fertilizer high in phosphorus.

YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)

Prune early spring-flowering trees and shrubs after flowers fade.

Plant balled-and-burlapped or container nursery stock, and water thoroughly.

Remove and destroy overwintering bagworms from landscape trees and shrubs.

Follow a spray schedule to keep home-orchard crops pest free. While trees are in bloom, use fungicide sprays without insecticide to avoid injuring bees. Follow label directions. More information is available in Managing Pests in Home Fruit Plantings (Purdue Extension publication ID-146-W).

Thin apple tree fruits, if needed, about three weeks after petal fall. Apples should be about 8 inches apart. Mother Nature may have taken care of thinning fruit set this year!

Apply fungicides to roses to control diseases such as black spot.

Purdue turf experts recommend that if you are going to fertilize your lawn in May, apply 3/4-1 pound of nitrogen (N) per 1,000 square feet with a product that contains 50 percent or more of slow-release fertilizer. Try to schedule the application prior to a rain or irrigate following application to move the fertilizer off leaf blades.

GARDEN (Flowers, vegetables and small fruits)

Plant frost-tender plants after the danger of frost has passed for your area. This includes warm-season vegetables (such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and vine crops) as well as most annual flowers and tender perennials (such as cannas, gladiolus, dahlias, tuberous begonias, and caladiums).

Pinch chrysanthemums and annual flower plants to keep them compact and well-branched.

Make successive plantings of beans and sweet corn to extend the harvest season.

Thin seedlings of early-planted crops such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, and beets to their proper spacing.

Harvest early plantings of radishes, spinach, and lettuce.

Both asparagus and rhubarb season may be delayed this year due to the slow progression of spring.

Harvest asparagus by cutting or snapping spears at or just below soil level

Harvest rhubarb by cutting or grasping the stalk and pulling it up and slightly to one side.

Control cucumber beetles (which are carriers of bacterial wilt) as soon as cucumber plants germinate or are transplanted to prevent disease.

Remove blossoms from newly set strawberry plants to allow better runner formation.

Remove unwanted sucker growth in raspberries when new shoots are about a foot tall.


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