If you live in a fire prone area, and haven’t done so already, take care of your weed abatement. The spring grasses have turned into very flammable dry tinder, so now you should cut it down to a maximum height of 4”. In total, we want to see at least a 100 foot perimeter of defensible space.
For the rest of us that do not have to worry about brush fires, May is a great month for gardening. Finish planting any trees or shrubs, as the coming hot dry days of summer are less ideal.
May is also the best time to prevent some of this year’s, and most of next year’s June bugs. Right now the immature larvae are found in your lawn feeding on the roots of your grass. Use a granular grub control product labeled for “season long” protection. You will kill the immature grubs before they become June bugs, and hopefully kill any eggs that your neighbors June bugs lay in your yard later this summer. Now that daytime temperatures are usually over 80 degrees, we should stop using broad leaf weed control sprays in our yards. Spraying for weeds while the temperature is high will put your turf at risk for damage.
Speaking of that lush green lawn now is the time to apply our summer fertilizer. Make sure you water it in well right after application to prevent fertilizer burn. If you applied crabgrass prevention to your lawn back in January or February, you shouldn’t have too much crabgrass growing now. Hand-dig any small patches before you apply your second and final application of Crabgrass prevention (Dithiopyr or Dimension.) You can buy an all in one product that “prevent crabgrass and fertilizes in one step.” Make sure the product does not also have “broad leaf weed control.”
Did you mulch your planter beds last month? Get it done now to help save precious irrigation water in the hot months ahead. Bonus tip: Have you ever thought about installing a small water garden? Hardy water lilies look spectacular, and May is a great time to plant them.
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