Plant heating-loving flowers
and vegetables in May so they are in full bloom and producing in summer
Plant From Seed: There is still time to plant vegetables from
seed that thrive in summer sun. These include corn, onions, peppers, cucumber,
eggplant, green beans, melons and squash. These vegetables are fast growing and
will produce vegetables by mid-summer.
Use Tomato Trusses: Tomato plants need support as they grow. Add a
tall metal or wooden truss around each tomato plant to support the plant as it
grows it heavy fruit (especially the big beefsteak and heirloom varieties).
This will prevent the stems from bending or breaking.
Plant Summer Bloomers: Add splashes of color to your flower garden with
summer bloomers. These hearty perineals require minimal water once established:
African iris, sea lavender, California fuchsia, bird of paradise and Lily-of-the-Nile.
Plant summer annuals as well including petunias, marigolds, salvia and
Add Mulch: With
rising water rates, now is the time to add a two to three inch layer of mulch
around flowers, trees and shrubs. Much not only reduces weeds, it holds in
moisture so you water less.
Add Drought-Tolerant Grasses: While removing lawns have become a popular way
to save water, certain clump grasses are actually drought-tolerant. These
include sheep fescue, deergrass and purple needle grass. Once established, they
need very little water, even in summer. Plant them as groundcover.
Wildflowers: Scatter wildflowers throughout your flower
garden for surprise color. Plants native to southern California so do
especially well are California poppy, sky lupine, tidy tips and globe gilia.
Check Your Irrigation Schedule: Make sure you are not overwatering.
Set your irrigation system to water in the early morning hours. Monitor
initially to be sure there is no runoff. Add a drip system to your garden. This
will enable water to reach directly into the plants’ root system. Trees and
shrubs benefit from weekly deep watering instead of quick watering several
times a week.
Your Lawn: Thatch is an organic layer of dead grass stems and roots between
the green grass above and the roots below.
Thatch will decay naturally, but if it builds up it can stop air and
water from getting to your lawn's root system. Aerate and dethatch your lawn in
May so water can easily penetrate to the roots. Apply a light layer of lawn top
dressing to keep in moisture.
Thin Fruit Trees: Fruit trees produce more fruit
than can grow to maturity. Some of the immature fruit will fall naturally
during May. Thin the remaining smaller fruit from the branches. That way, stronger
fruit will grow larger and tastier.
Labels: drought-tolerant grasses, May planting tips, mulch, Southern California, tomato trusses, wildflowers