Teresa’s What to do in Your Landscape for May 2024

Average temperatures High 87 Low 62

Rainfall 3.47 inches

Supplemental irrigation 2x a week if no rain.

What to Plant:

Vegetables: Amaranth, boniato, calabaza, cassava, chayote, cherry tomato, collards, dasheen, Everglades tomato, ginger, lima bean, longevity spinach, Long-squash, Luffa, snap bean, Malabar spinach, malanga, New Zealand spinach, Okinawa spinach, okra, papaya, hot pepper, peanuts, pigeon pea, pineapple, roselle, Seminole pumpkin, Southern pea, sugarcane, sweet potato, Swiss chard, tamarillo, yam, and yard-long bean.

Annual and Perennial Flowers: African iris, ageratum, angelonia, Apostle iris, balsam, beach sunflower, begonias, black-eyed-Susan, blue daze, blue sage, bromeliads, browallia, bulbine, bush daisy, butterfly weed, cat's whiskers, celosia, cigar flower, coleus, coneflowers, coreopsis, cosmos, crossandra, Dahlberg daisy, dusty miller, gaillardia, gazania, gerbera, goldenrod, gomphrena, impatiens, Jacobina, Jewels of Opar, lantana, Justicia, leopard plant, liatris, lion’s tail, marigolds, melampodium, Mexican heather, milkweed, moon vine, New Guinea impatiens, nicotiana, nierembergia, Nun’s orchid, ornamental sweet potato, pentas, periwinkle, phlox, Porter weed, portulaca, purslane, salvia, scorpion tail, Stoke’s aster, sunflowers, terrestrial orchids, toad lily, torenia, verbena, whirling butterflies, yellow alder, and zinnias.

Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, cardamom, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, sweet marjoram, mint, tarragon, and thyme.

Bulbs: Achimenes, agapanthus, Alocasia, amaryllis, blackberry lilies, blood lilies, bulbine, caladiums, calla lilies, cannas, crinums, crocosmia, Colocasia, day lilies, eucharis lily, gladiolus, gloriosa lilies, hurricane lilies, lily of the Nile, peacock ginger, society garlic, rain lilies, spider lilies, St. Bernard’s lilies.

Shrubs and Trees: In Florida, most shrubs and tree species can be planted year round.
(1 https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/florida/united-states/3179)

Lawn Maintenance:

· May is still the dry season. Set irrigation for 1.15 inches two times a week if no rainfall.

· Check rain sensor is working.

· Rake out brown leaf blades from winter.

· Finish spring feedings with slow-release no-phosphorus fertilizers.

· If needed, apply an iron only or minor nutrient fertilizer to regreen yellow lawns.

· This month may be the last time to feed your lawn until October.

· Check for chinch bugs in yellowing areas of St. Augustine grass; treat at needed

· Walk yards on weekly basis to look for sod webworm moths flying up from turf.

· Some areas of lawns may have died during the winter; add new sod or plugs.

· May is a good month to seed Bahia lawns.

· For low maintenance, reduce lawns areas needed for family and pet areas.

· Avoid mowing with dull blades; sharpen blades every five mowing's.

· Measure leaf blades to make sure the lawn it being cut at the proper height.

· Take a new route at each mowing to avoid ruts in the lawn.

· Dig out or spot kill weeds and replace with plugs of grass or sod.

· Aerate compacted and hard to wet lawns.

· Turfs need at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. Select shade-tolerant grasses or an ornamental ground cover for difficult shady spots.

Landscape care:

· Plant Easter lilies, amaryllis, and poinsettias in the landscape.

· Put declining tulips, hyacinths, and other forced bulbs to the compost pile.

· Walk yards on a weekly basis to catch pest issues promptly.

· Look under the foliage and move hand over shrub foliage to notice any pests flying up.

· All winter-damaged ornamental grass fronds should be removed.

· Reshape and prune shrubs with dieback or winter damage.

· Avoid shearing shrubs and perennials; remove out of bounds shoots with hand pruners.

· Have older trees checked by certified arborists before hurricane season and prices go up.

· Look for sap-stained bark, hollow areas and twin trunks as signs of tree problems.

· Train young shade trees to have one central leader with evenly spaced branches.

· Retrofit irrigation systems to separate turf zone and landscape bed zone.

· Use low-volume irrigation to conserve water.

· Create rain gardens to redirect excess water from home..

· Maintain a 3” mulch layer under trees, shrubs, and garden beds to help conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and enhance landscape.

· Older shade trees seldom need special feedings.

· One application of a slow-release fertilizer could feed your plants through summer.

· Correct drainage problems before the rainy season arrives.

· Make sure new plant selections have adequate room to grow.

· Select plants for pool and patio areas that do not drop messy flowers or foliage.

· Keep new tree and shrub plantings moist with hand-watering if no rainfall.

· Feed palms with an 8-2-12-4 or similar slow-release palm fertilizer according to label.

· Deadhead flowers from annuals to encourage new blooms.

· Lift up and remove tree limbs affecting traffic along walkways.

· Plant shady gardens with shade-tolerant flowers, shrubs, bulbs and foliage plants.

· Cut back perennials finishing their spring bloom.

· Fertilize all flower beds and shrub plantings with slow-release fertilizer as the rainy season returns.

· Complete pruning of azaleas and camellias this month.

· Transplant palms when the rainy season returns.

· Feed container gardens weekly or use a slow-release fertilizer as labeled.

· Control rose pests by using systemic products for insects, not watering the foliage, and providing good air circulation.

· Kill adult lubber grasshoppers by stepping on them or cutting them. Look for pairs.

· Turn compost piles every two weeks. They may need to be watered 2x – 3x this month.

· Feed water lilies and lotus monthly.

· Begin rooting cuttings of favorite shrubs and perennials.

· Collect and sow seeds from your favorite plants or save them until the proper time.

· Pull or spot kill weeds among shrubs and flower beds and add a mulch.

Vegetable and fruit plantings:

· Groom, fertilize, maintain soil moisture, and utilize herbs to keep them growing.

· It’s too late for most tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants; select summer tolerant vegetables.

· Maintain 3” mulch in the garden and use low-volume irrigation to conserve water.

· Keep bananas and papaya moist and feed monthly to have flowers by late summer.

· Give citrus, grapes, and other fruits a late spring feeding.

· Prune blackberries and blueberries when fruiting is over.

· Harvest maturing crops to keep the plants producing.

· Remove declining fruit plantings and replant with new varieties.

· Trellis vining crops to save space and prevent diseases.

· Feed vegetable plantings monthly.

· Use soil solarization treatments to control nematodes and diseases.

· Control fruit worms and leaf spots on vegetables with natural sprays as needed.

· Control aphids feeding in new shoots with an insecticidal soap spray.

· Incorporate aged compost with planting sites to improve sandy soils.

· Purchase seeds now for planting in August; seed displays are often removed from stores during summer.

Foliage & houseplants:

· Replace declining plants in the home with new selections.

· Give weak and thinning foliage plants a spot in the shade outdoors to recover.

· Check water needs daily.

· Plants that are wilting often need to be checked for overgrown root system and not enough soil. If root bound, water plants well, then next day, cut a third of the roots off, and add more soil. Replant in same pot.

· Remove yellow leaves and faded flowers.

· Reshape taller tree form foliage plants and remove declining limbs.

· Divide African violets, bromeliads, and orchids.

· Place plants in bathtub or sink, wash pests and dust away with soapy water.

· Feed outdoor foliage plants monthly or use a slow-release fertilizer.

· Move orchids outdoor under trees for the summer.

Handheld Spreader Filled With Lawn Fertilizer

Photo: Grace Cary / Moment / Getty Images

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