May Lawn And Garden Tips 2022
MAY LAWN AND GARDEN TIPS: WEATHER
We open May Lawn and Garden Tips recognizing that Mothers Day arrives on the second Sunday of this month the second and final month of Spring before the heat and showers of Summer arrive. Daily high and low temperatures increase 5-10 degrees, typically averaging between 70°F and 87°F. As traffic at the neighborhood garden center suggests, May is prime time for working in your yard, and tending to the lawn and garden ahead of Summer. While April rainfall was 5.22 inches and on paper exceeding the 2.93 inch average for the month, 4.5 inches of it came down in only today’s, April 7 & 17. Heavy rain for a few hours followed by days of drought conditions results in soil erosion and stormwater runoff that isn’t optimum for landscapes or the environment. The other four days of rain in April were clustered together with long dry spells most of the month. Our lawns and gardens do better with three weekly rain events that for best results require supplemental irrigation and hand watering during dry periods. Don’t wait until after the damage is done. Look for signs of heat stress and supplement your plant’s water supply, which besides hydration reduces their susceptibility to pests and disease. May is normally slightly drier than April ahead of nearly tripling the rainfall during June and July, when monthly rainfall averages are 6.5 inches. Hurricane Season starts June 1.
MAY LAWN AND GARDEN TIPS: PLANTINGS
Suppose you didn’t get your pollinator-attracting flowering perennials and annuals planted in April. May is a good time in the middle of Spring to keep planting. A few of the long list of bloomers ready to pick out and plant from the Earth Works garden center include Begonias, bougainvillea, coleus, coral honeysuckle, cuphea, hibiscus, lantana, mandevilla, milkweed, passion vines, roses, and salvia. Did we mention palm trees? Yes, we have a wide selection of both small and large, container and field-grown palm trees in stock with designers and staff that can pair you up with the right variety. How about houseplants? Did you make it to our Houseplant Social? Lots of great houseplants are in stock.
It’s not too late to grow herbs and vegetables. While it can be a little late for tomatoes that don’t like the oppressive heat of summer switch from planting seeds to growing seedlings that already have a good start in their growing cycle. Container gardening is a terrific option for starting a wide variety of plants. It allows you to move them to varied light positions and see where they are best suited for your landscape design. Earth Works garden center, landscape designers, and lawn care staff are available to assist you in developing a beautiful, healthy, and manageable lawn and garden.
MAY LAWN AND GARDEN TIPS: PRUNING
In May, your plants should already be putting out new growth, and for ones that aren’t, look for Winter cold, disease, or parasite damage. Prune your spring flowering plants and hedge plants such as azaleas and oleander back after blooming to allow maximum growth ahead of their next bloom cycle on new growth. Remove dead, damaged, and diseased growth. Consider sterilizing your lawn and garden equipment with diluted chlorine/bleach solution to avoid transferring fungus, disease, pests, and parasites from one shrub or plant to another.
MAY LAWN AND GARDEN TIPS: FERTILIZATION
Your fertilization needs are going to depend on the nutrient requirements of your specific plants, soil composition, and fertility. Native plants are adapted to local soil conditions and need less fertilization than plants categorized as moderate and heavy feeders. Heavy feeders such as fruits, vegetables and flowering ornamentals benefit from weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly fertilization that can include a combination of foliar sprays, teas, and time-release granular. We recommend Espoma Organic’s full line of products enriched with beneficial mycorrhizae fungi for improving root function. We stock Espoma Organics Biotone for new plantings planting and other formulations to fertilize established plants.
“Macronutrients are essential for plant growth and a good overall state of the plant,” according to AGQ Labs. “The primary macronutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Of the 60 chemical elements that comprise plants, 16 of them are essential. Of those 16, some are extracted from the air in the form of CO2 or water. These are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. If for now we set aside leaf fertilization and the three above-mentioned elements, the remaining 13 are extracted from the soil. These are divided into macronutrients and micronutrients, all of which are essential for crops.”
Soil pH can bind up nutrients, making them unavailable in slow-release granular. In contrast, foliar sprays deliver those same micronutrients to the plant. Thus, it’s also essential to know your soil pH, a free test with recommendations for amendments where necessary by the University of Florida is encouraged. For more information, read “Soil Testing in Northeast Florida.”
MAY LAWN & GARDEN TIPS: PEST CONTROL
If your soil forms crusts and pools water, it’s compacted and not allowing proper percolation or nutrient absorption. Consider doing core aeration and top dressing to increase the organic matter in your soil and improve soil retention and the bioavailability of micro-nutrients. Be on the lookout for signs of weeds, insects, mold, and fungus in the lawn and garden. We recommend treating Leaf miners and other varieties of sapsuckers with Spinosad, a derivative of the soil bacterium Saccharopolyspora available in Capt. Jacks Deadbug Brew.
Protect pollinators and other beneficial insects by reducing reliance on synthetic controls with spot treatments of organic solutions of neem oil and the beneficial bacteria strain Bacillus thuringiensis sold by Bonide as BT. Be on the lookout for pests and address their potential threats in advance of infestations.
When using weed and feed products in May avoid those with a pre-emergent herbicide and opt instead for the post-emergent as temperatures are above 55F. Reduce plant stress and susceptibility to pests by planting in the best light position and fertilizing appropriately for that specific plant variety. Get a quote for Earth Works Lawn Fertilization and Pest Control service.
For comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden, and landscaping needs, contact Earth Works of Jacksonville online and at 904-996-0712.
Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions.
Proudly serving clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.