Your May Gardening Checklist
Feed Shrubs & Lawns
Fertilize spring-blooming shrubs such as azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, and forsythias after they finish blooming. Use a tree-and-shrub product at the rate specified on the label. If you haven't yet fertilized your warm-season grass (Bermuda, St. Augustine, or zoysia), do so at this time.
Sow Your Veggies
Now that the soil has warmed, it's okay to sow seeds of vegetables that love hot weather. These include beans, corn, melons, okra, eggplants, tomatoes, and squash. Plant about ½ inch deep in a sunny spot. To get an earlier crop, you can buy small plants from the garden center.
Tea scales are little brown or white insects that suck sap on the undersides of camellia leaves and cause them to turn yellow. This can be prevented by spraying the undersides now with horticultural oil according to label directions. Throw out any fallen camellia leaves to prevent tea scales from spreading further.
WATCH: Grumpy Gardener's Guide to Camellias
Bite the Bullet
Right now, your pansies and violas are blooming their heads off, but they'll die when the weather gets hot. You want your summer annuals to get established before that happens, so rip out those lovely pansies, and replace them with summer bloomers. Sigh…
Remember Mother's Day
Guess who forgot a gift last year: me. The consequences were dire. Do as I say and not as I did. Buy your mom or the mother of your children a nice hanging basket or pretty container garden.