2 to 4 inches of organic
mulch when the soil has warmed. Apply over well-watered,
weed-free soils. Mulch discourages weeds, conserves
moisture, and helps maintain constant soil temperatures.
weed problems on warm days and continue to mow regularly.
Avoid using weed and feed products near trees or shrubs.
Always use weed killers according to label directions
and use accurate measurements. Spot treat lawn weeds
with broadleaf weed killers rather than spraying the
You can still aerate
or power rake an existing lawn and overseed an old
Start infrequent deep
watering of lawns. New lawns must be watered daily
until they germinate. Then it is time to cut back and
water deeply but less frequently.
Put bedding plants in moist, fertile soil after
breaking apart their roots. Keep them well watered.
evergreens once new growth has begun to appear. If
summer and fall blooming perennials have become overgrown,
dig them up and divide them.
shrubs after they have finished blooming. Flowering
almond, forsythia, quince, and lilacs stay more compact
and bloom better with annual pruning. Cut out dead or
broken branches and up to one-third of the older stalks.
Cut back spring-blooming perennials to 3 inches
in height after they have finished blooming. If they
have dead centers, dig up the whole plant, divide it
and replant the young healthy outer portions.
perennial flower seeds outdoors and set out new perennial
After the soil warms up enough
to activate soil microbes, you can apply organic
fertilizers such as compost, manure, fish emulsions, blood
meal and bone meal.
Sow hardy annual
flowers outdoors in early May (sweet alyssum, bachelor
buttons, calendula, cosmos, sweet peas). Wait until after
the last frost and the soil has warmed before planting
tender annuals (marigolds, portulaca, zinnias).
Watch for spittle bugs. Hose them off your plants
with a strong spray of water. Also watch for slugs and
treat as necessary.
Start pumpkins and melons indoors to transplant
in early June. Plant peas and potatoes.
Continue planting leafy greens, beets and carrots
in small amounts for a staggered harvest.
Record the last frost date and make notes on
weather and soil conditions in your notebook. A year-to-year
account of weather conditions is helpful over time. Also
record the bloom time of fruit trees.
Check for aphids,
especially on firs, roses, arborvitae and maples. Some
symptoms to watch for include distorted new growth and
honeydew (sticky sap) or sooty mold on the leaves. Wash
foliage with a strong spray of water.