Monthly Garden Calendar for Midwest United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Paul Rodman

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MAY

"A garden is the interface between the house and the rest of civilization"— Geoffrey Charlesworth, garden writer

Marvelous Mums. Pinch back mums to promote full, bushy plants and provide more blooms later in the fall.

Give Your Plants a Drink. Make sure to keep all newly planted stock well watered if mother nature doesn't cooperate with sufficient rain.

Fertilize Organically. Set up an organic fertilizing plan for your roses beginning this month. Reapply every 4-6 weeks. Fertrell and Espoma are two brands of organic fertilizers that I prefer. Both companies have a large assortment of products to choose from.

Transplant Time. Transplant tomatoes when soil temperatures reaches 50 degrees F. Plants beans and other warm weather crops as well. Around the middle of the month I transplant the young dahlia plants I have rooted indoors. Place them at 2-3 foot intervals. I install supports when I transplant the young plants.

Bird Watch in Your Garden! Place your humming bird feeders out. Change liquid and clean weekly.

Weeds, Weeds, Weeds. Keep up on weeding before it gets away from you. Use mulch to deter weeds, reapply as needed.

Shake Up Your Compost. Give the compost pile a good turning and make sure it doesn't dry out.

Practical Pruning. Prune spring shrubs such as forsythia, lilac, viburnum, and crabapple when they finish blooming.

Support Your Plants. Make sure supports or stakes are in place for tall perennials such as delphiniums and peonies.

Get Rid of Bald Spots. Reseed any bare spots in your lawn. Be sure to mulch and keep the area well watered.

Plant Your Bulbs. Warm season bulbs such as cannas, and gladiolas may be planted now.

Lovely Lilacs. When lilacs finish blooming, removed faded blooms and prune the bush if needed. Up to one third of the branches may be removed each year. This will ensure a healthy, vigorous plant.

Heavenly Herbs. Plant some herbs near your kitchen door. I like to plant them in containers. Snip a piece or two for cooking as needed. Keep the plants in a sunny location.

Keep Houseplants Happy. Move houseplants outside when danger of frost has passed. Keep a close watch so they don't dry out as temperatures rise.

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