Gardening ABCs for May
from the Johnson County Master Gardener Association

Avoid pruning climbing roses till after they finish blooming, then remove about half the canes. Start with the weak, internal branches that are unlikely to bloom again, then interweave or tie up any young, new canes to fences, trellises or arbors. Remove weak, internal branches that are unlikely to bloom again.

Avoid pruning oaks, especially red oaks this late in the season (oak wilt!)

Apply a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio fertilizer to lawns, shrubs, trees, groundcovers, flowers, and vegetables. Wait till you’ve mowed at least twice to apply fertilizer. Otherwise, you’ll just be helping the weeds along. Spot treat weeds with a broadleaf weedkiller.

Begin thinning peaches and plums till the fruit are 6-8 inches apart. If you can=t stand that, thin them to 5-6 inches but THIN THEM, NOW! The fruit will be larger and you’ll have fewer broken limbs.

Beware of bagworms on evergreens and webworms on pecans and shade trees. Hand pick them or control them with water pressure or insecticidal soap.

Beware of aphids on vegetables and vegetables and thrips on roses. Control them with water pressure, ladybugs or recommended insecticides.

Control abelias, Elaeagnus, Lady Banksia roses and other woody shrubs and vines by removing erratic branches. Control spring weeds by regular mowing. You should never remove more than 25% of the leaf blade when you mow.

Complete planting your warm-season plants as soon as the soil temperature warms to 65º F.

We’re heading into the hottest, driest part of the year. Keep that in mind as you plan your garden.

“Happy Gardening!”

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