Monthly Garden Calendar for Hawaii

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Joan Conrow

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MAY

If you hadn't already noticed, spring has busted out all over and summer is hot on her heels. May is the month of rapid growth and prolific bloom as the ideal conditions of warmth and moisture merge. Your garden needs you more than ever now in order to do its best. Take the time to give it extra food, water to fill in the gaps between rain, weed, prune and generally clean up. It'll reward your tender loving care with the vibrant health that results in a bountiful harvest and fewer maintenance requirements and disease problems later on.

Feed Fruit And Flower Trees. Spread finished compost or composted chicken manure thinly and evenly over an 18-inch circle around the tree, leaving a 2-inch buffer right around the trunk.

Mulch Bananas After Feeding. Use dry leaves trimmed from producing trees, then replenish with the fresh leaves and trunks (chopped in small pieces) produced each time you cut down a tree to harvest a ripe bunch.

Harvest Time. Harvest banana immediately if any fruit turns yellow, or when the ridges have nearly disappeared from the green fruit.

Watch Those Weeds. Remove weeds now, before they flower and seed, and you'll have less weeding in the future. It's a good rainy day chore as the ground is soft.

Scout For Snails and Slugs. Control the ravenous snails and slugs that gravitate toward seedlings and cabbage crops by spreading lime, wood ashes or sawdust around the borders of each bed.

Water Thoroughly. Soil dries out quickly in wind and the mid-day heat, and even frequent rain showers may not fully soak the soil.

Pest Prevention. Build resistance to insects, fungal diseases and sooty mold by giving plants that produce a lot of fruit or flowers frequent foliar feedings of liquid kelp or seaweed.

Planting Time. Plant lettuce, tatsoi, collards, cucumbers, peppers, soybeans, green beans, radishes, basil, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, by sowing seed in tilled soil. Water as needed to keep soil damp until seedlings are established.

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