May usually brings out the
best weather for gardening in Southern California--not too hot or too cold--just
right to begin planting vegetables and flowers that will reach their peak in
Thin Out Fruit: By now, many fruit trees are beginning to bear
small fruit. Thin the smaller or excess fruit so the stronger fruit will have
the nutrients to grow. This is especially important for younger trees
Maintain an Early Morning
Watering Schedule: water your garden
during morning hours. Watering at night can cause fungus to grow in moist
areas. By watering in the early morning, your garden will be sufficiently dry
by the time the sun warms up your plants and lawn, but moist enough to offset
the heat of the day.
Use Mulch: Mulch absorbs
water, reduces erosion and keeps weeds in check throughout the year and
especially during the growing season. Its value dissipates with time, however,
so maintain about three inches of fresh mulch around plants and in areas where
weeds are a problem.
is The Ideal Month for Planting Almost Any Flower: Plant warm season annuals in May such as
begonia, chrysanthemum, geranium, marigold, petunia and verbena. While annuals
come and go, perennials will bring backyard enjoyment for years to come.
Perennials to plant now include African daisy, delphinium, fuchsia and
Reduce Pests: Spring attracts bad bugs to the garden. While
it may be tempting to buy a pesticide to rid your garden of these bugs, there
are plenty of all-natural options. For example, ladybugs can control
infestations of aphids (small round bugs that feed in colonies on vegetable
gardens, roses and other plants). To control snails, put boards around your
garden. The snails will be drawn to their shade to avoid the hot sun. Pick up
the board, pluck off the snails and put them in the trash.
Aerate and Dethatch Warm
Season Lawns: warm-season lawns need
attention during May. Aerate and dethatch these lawns so water can easily
penetrate to the roots. Apply a light layer of lawn topping to keep in moisture
and reduce water usage.
Plant Herbs: If
you love to use fresh herbs in your meals, an herb garden is almost mandatory.
The cost to purchase an herb plant and keep it watered is much less than buying
expensive cut herbs at the grocery store. Herbs to plant now are basil, chives,
cilantro, dill, fennel, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and
Plant Something Exotic: Lemons, oranges, peaches and plums are the mainstay of
many Southern California backyards. Try something new this year by planting
bananas, pineapples, guava, mango and other subtropical fruit. Check with your
local nursery to see what will grow best in your climate zone.
For more gardening tips, go
Labels: May gardening tips, plant herbs, Southern California, thin fruit, use mulch in garden, What to plant in May