Welcome to Ellis County Master Gardeners Homepage

It’s May… What Needs To Be Done?
Planting

  • It is time to plant sweet potatoes.
  • It is not too late to sow directly into the soil seeds of sunflower, zinnia, morning glory, portulaca, marigold, cosmos, periwinkles and gourds. Achimenes, cannas, dahlias and other summer flowering bulbs can also be planted in May.
  • For shady spots, grow these favorite plants: impatiens, coleus, caladium and begonias. Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana) is a great fragrant annual for partial shade.
  • Plant caladium tubers, petunias, impatiens, begonias and torenias in well prepared shady areas.

Fertilizing and Pruning

  • Fertilize tomatoes and most other vegetables every other week for produc-tive and vigorous plants.
  • Deadhead roses and other reblooming plants. Feed fruit trees, perennials, annuals, ground covers and vines with a lawn fertilizer.
  • Allow foliage of spring-flowering bulbs to mature and yellow before re-moving.
  • Replace or replenish mulch materials in flower beds and shrub borders to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.
  • Mow lawn grass the proper height every five days to keep it dense and healthy. Keep the blades sharp for a good clean cut to prevent browning at the tips.

Garden Watch

  • Take a critical look at your landscape while at the height of summer de-velopment. Make notes of how you think it can be better arranged, plants that need replacement, overgrown plants that need to be removed, and possible activity areas that can be enjoyed by family members.
  • Not all “critters” are pests, nor are all spots diseases—be sure to get any unknown suspect or problem correctly identified before considering treat-ing with a pesticide.
  • Cabbage worms and loopers will be on all Cole crops including broccoli, cabbage, collards, kale and cauliflower. The biological insecticide Bacil-lus thuringiensis (Bt), sold under several brand names like Biological Worm Killer, Thuricide, Dipel, etc, is a specific and very safe product to use to control these and other moth and butterfly caterpillars on vegeta-bles and other plants. Use Bt late in the day and thoroughly cover the leaves with the spray.

Click here to read the May Newsletter

Firewise!

Check out our new Firewise information under the Resources tab above and learn how to be prepared before wildfire strikes.