May Is The Month To Get Planting
With the warmer temperatures in May, plants start budding. This is generally your first hint that lawn and garden chores are about to begin for another growing season. It is also the time of year to prune, mulch and fertilize plants, shrubs and trees to prepare them to produce flowers and fruit. Here are a few tips to help you get your lawn and garden ready this Spring.
Benefits of Mulching
Because in higher elevations there is still a threat of frost, mulching becomes a shield used by gardeners to protect budding flowers from frost damage. Mulch is also effective in controlling weed growth around plants and trees. The main purpose for mulching is that it will regulate soil moisture levels as well as soil temperature which can impact on the growth cycle.
There are two different types of mulches available – organic and inorganic. Organic mulches include grass clippings, straw, wood chips, newspapers, ground leaves, rotted sawdust and compost. When applied in layers measuring up to three inches, mulch keeps soil cooler by reflecting sunlight and introduces nutrients into the soil it is placed upon.
Inorganic mulch is non-natural materials such as rocks, small shredded pieces of rubberized tires or black plastic. This type of mulch is effective when used around seasonal crops that produce better with warmer soil temperatures. This mulch traps heat from the sun and create a ‘greenhouse’ effect around the plants. Clear plastic should not be used as weeds will result.
Benefits of Pruning
When you prune plants, shrubs and trees you are removing excess branches and twigs. The best time to prune is after the final frost of the season and before plants begin to leaf out. The idea behind pruning is to trim away dead or extra parts of a plant or tree. When you remove unnecessary twigs and branches, energy is concentrated on the parts that remain.
Pruning can assist with the growth cycle as a result. When the growth energy is directed to the parts of the tree or plant that are left after pruning, it enhances the fruit and flowers produced. You can also use pruning as a method of controlling the amount of growth in plants and trees. Pruning is a method used to beautify growing shrubs and trees as well.
Mowing and Planting
May is usually the time of year when lawnmowers get their first workout of the season. Because your lawn has been dormant for the winter, it is a good idea to rake it to remove the dead grass and other material that has gathered since autumn. This is called thatch and by dethatching your lawn you will help water, nutrients and air get into your lawn to make it healthy.
Depending on what growing zone you live in, the weather in May will determine when you will be able to start planting your garden. The general rule of thumb is to hold off until the final frost of the season. In many parts of the country that is usually the May long weekend. Be sure to follow the directions on your seed packs in order to maximize your crop production.
WeatherBug Assists With Your Gardening
WeatherBug contains several map layers to assist with your outdoor chores. They include dew point, precipitation, air quality and storm tracker. Plus, there are alerts to give you warning of changes in the weather where you are. Download our app at www.weatherbug.com or from your favorite app store.