Spokane County Extension

Garden - Lawn - Landscape


May


Apply 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.

Tackle lawn 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 entire yard.

You can still aerate or power rake an existing lawn and overseed an old lawn.

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.

Prune evergreens once new growth has begun to appear. If summer and fall blooming perennials have become overgrown, dig them up and divide them.

Prune flowering 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.

 

 

Sow perennial flower seeds outdoors and set out new perennial plants.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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