May 2010 in the Garden

Featured in the May 2010 handbook.

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Here we are in the Merry Month of May. Fresh new leaves are, as yet, unchewed by caterpillars and the double white lilac, is heavy with fragrant blooms.

Time to start thinking about the summer garden. If you want to enjoy colour during the summer, spring is the time to plant out the summer flowering annuals, bulbs, perennials and shrubs. This is also the month to begin getting the lawn in shape for the summer. In fact, what you accomplish this month will greatly cut back on garden maintenance the rest of this spring and summer.

Pines and other conifers can be kept to a compact size by pinching off the new growth.

Remove the wilting seed heads from Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

Early flowering deciduous shrubs such as Forsythias, Weigela, and Spiraea should be pruned back when they have finished blooming.

Lilacs should be pruned lightly after they finish blooming, removing sucker growths and dead blooms. Feed lilacs in May with a good all purpose fertilizer after they have finished blooming.

Now that frosts should be over in the south, dahlias may be planted out and bedding plants planted in the ground and in pots. If you are going to plant out dahlia tubers, it's a good idea to put the stake in the ground before you put the plant in.

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