What To Do In Your Southern California Garden in May

May has a lot of the same chores on the list as we had in April, so if you didn’t get them all done fear not you can continue to work on them during the beautiful month of May. During this particular May (2010) Mercury is in retrograde until the 11th, so you can re-do all that you did in April and maybe have even more success!
Like my good friend Harriette Knight always says, “You should do anything that starts with re”. Renew, re-do, recycle, refresh. I say recycle some old containers you have and refresh them with some beautiful plants!

May is a great time to plant or continue to plant annuals for summer color

You can prune spring-flowering shrubs and vines while they are blooming or just after they finish. Hardenbergia and Carolina jessamine vines as well as spring blooming Ceanothus are almost done – don’t forget to prune them. You can also prune subtropical shrubs if they are getting leggy. Princess Flower and Hibiscus would fall into this category.

May is an excellent time to transplant warm-season vegetable seedlings. If you didn’t get your tomatoes in during April… get them in now! And don’t forget to support them. (see blog post on tomatoes).

It is a great time to experiment with those subtropical fruit trees that I love so much. Take a trip over to Papaya Tree Nursery (tell Alex I sent you) and take a look at some of his unusual citrus trees, figs, passion fruit, cherimoya, papayas and more. Make sure you tell Alex where you live when you are selecting plants. Call ahead first before popping in, you want to make sure that he’s at the nursery.

You can start shopping for and planting summer and fall bloomers like such as day lily, iris, gaura, gaillardia, penstemons, pentas, asters, coreopsis, salvia and the Echinacea will be available soon. I love to buy my day lilies, iris, and more from Greenwood Day Lily Gardens and they are still open to the public on weekends through June. John Shoustra the owner of Greenwood will be speaking about Pelargoniums at the Huntington on May 13th so put that on your calendar too!

You should continue to feed and water blooming and growing cacti and succulents

If you didn’t spray your peach trees for peach leaf curl, blight and canker… now is the time!

Don’t forget to feed those houseplants too, they feel the flush of growth that spring brings, so help them out. Use a nice organic balanced fertilizer, especially if they are blooming houseplants.

You can continue to plant fall-blooming bulbs in May such as Aconitum
Amaryllis, Begonia, Lycoris Spider Lily (not supposed to bloom here, but mine do)
and Trycirtis You can buy bulbs at a nursery or online – here are two online suggestions.
Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
McClure Zimmerman Bulbs

For more about my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net




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