May Gardening Tips
Warm-season lawns (Bermuda, Buffalo and Zoysia) can be dethatched and/or mowed short now. This is also the start of seeding time for Bermuda and Buffalo. Established warm-season grasses take less water than cool-season grasses, like fescue and bluegrass, however newly seeded Buffalo and Bermuda will need to stay moist when starting out. Use ferti•lome New Lawn Starter Fertilizer when seeding; otherwise feed established warm season grasses with ferti•lome Pro-Green Lawn Tonic. Natural Guard Top Dressing will help all lawns with drought resistance. Top Dressing is a soil conditioner that promotes better root systems, helping grass tap into moisture and nutrients in the soil.
If broadleaf weeds are still a problem you can use ferti•lome Weed Free Zone. Weed Free Zone comes in a liquid concentrate and a ready-to-use spray. Weed Free Zone is rainfast in four hours so you don’t need 24 dry
hours for it to be effective. For spring-seeded lawns wait until you have mowed the new grass three times before using any weed control.
Planting & Fertilizing
We can now safely plant all those annuals (vinca, impatiens), shrubs (butterfly bush, crapemyrtle) and vegetables (cucumbers, eggplant, sweet potatoes) that like it hot. You can continue planting most other shrubs, trees and perennials, too.
Always use ferti•lome Root Stimulator & Plant Starter Solution when planting or transplanting. Use it weekly for the first month on trees and shrubs.
On bedding plants and vegetables you can substitute ferti•lome Blooming & Rooting Soluble Plant Food as a starter solution. The high phosphorus content (9-58-8) helps plants root out and then produce more flowers and more fruit. In beds you can feed flowers and vegetables with granular ferti•lome Gardener’s Special. Its 11-15-11 analysis is a good all-purpose fertilizer for most gardens. Use Blooming & Rooting for the in-between feedings to get the most production or blooms from your plants.
MYKE® Vegetable & Herb and MYKE Flower can supply additional health insurance for your plants. MYKE is a beneficial fungus which attaches to roots and encourages the development of more small feeder roots. These
enable plants to take up nutrients and withstand stress better.
Growing almost anything—flowers, vegetables, herbs —in pots is becoming more and more popular. You can plant earlier than in the ground as well as control the soil environment. Also, container gardens are mobile—you can move them to the perfect spot for your enjoyment and for the plant’s health. There are special steps to take to make sure your potted plants thrive. Start with a well draining potting mix, like ferti•lome Ultimate Potting Mix. Do not use garden soil or top soil—it is too heavy for containers. In hanging baskets and smaller pots especially, mix in Soil Moist. It will absorb and store water, releasing it as the soil dries out. Containers also need more regular feeding than plants in the ground. Mix ferti•lome Garden Cote 6 slow release fertilizer into the soil, then supplement with ferti•lome Blooming & Rooting Soluble Plant Food to maximize blooms.
No garden is complete without at least one tomato plant, and there are always new var ieties and old standbys to choose from. For best results, rotate where you plant tomatoes each year. This helps prevent disease problems that build up in the soil. If you have to plant in the same area, choose a resistant var iety. Tomatoes are coded with letters which refer to disease resistance:
V = Verticillium Wilt
F = Fusarium Wilt
FF = Fusarium Wilt (different strains)
N = Nematodes
A = Alternaria Leaf Spot
T = Tobacco Mosaic
The best tomatoes are grown in soil prepared with organic amendments. Cotton Burr Compost is an excellent choice to add organic matter. Using FoxFarm Happy Frog Tomato and Vegetable at planting time and again when tomatoes are walnut size, will provide all the food needed. This fertilizer is natural and can be used in containers or in the ground. It also contains calcium to help prevent blossom end rot, or you can add Hi-Yield
Calcium Nitrate to your soil when you plant and 2 weeks later to add the needed calcium. In containers, use FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil for a rich organic mix.
Water in all vegetables with ferti•lome Blooming & Rooting Soluble Plant Food. Just using this as a starter solution can increase yields 79%.
Ash/Lilac Borer — use Hi-Yield 38 Plus Turf, Termite & Ornamental Insect Control every two weeks in May - June. Saturate the trunks to the ground.
Cedar Apple Rust — continue spraying ferti•lome Liquid Systemic Fungicide II or ferti•lome F-Stop Lawn & Garden Fungicide, at 7-10 day intervals on susceptible apple, crabapple, hawthorn and pear trees.
Euonymus Scale — appears as white flecks on leaves and stems, then the leaves start to yellow. Use Hi-Yield Indoor Outdoor Broad Use Insecticide in May - June to control the first generation crawler stage.