Monthly Garden Calendar for Pacific Coast North United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Amy Stewart

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MAY

Ah, it's May at last. The garden is starting to take shape: daisies and coreopsis are in bloom, sweet peas are climbing the trellis, and even the vegetable garden is starting to look like something. As much as I love the way my own garden comes together in May, there is no place I'd rather be this time of year than in the Pacific Northwest. Portland and Seattle are a gardener's paradise right now: rhododendrons and azaleas are in full swing, roses are blooming, and the wisteria—ah, there is wisteria everywhere.

Acid-Loving Plants. This is the time to give a little extra love to your acid-loving plants. Feed blueberries, camellias, and azaleas a dose of organic fertilizer that is specially formulated for acid soil.

Prepare to Prune. While you're at it, prune these spring-flowering shrubs now or never—they'll start to form next year's buds pretty soon and it'll be too late.

Maintain Soil Moisture. Water in the evening as needed, and mulch heavily to help retain moisture in the soil.

Veggie Garden Tip. If you garden in a very cool coastal area, you might have waited until now to plant summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and squash. Go the extra mile to provide them the warmth they need: Gardeners Supply Company has several season-extenders, like tomato teepees to protect them from unexpected blasts of cold wind and rain.

Keep An Eye Out For Aphids. Plant small-flowered annuals like tansy and alyssum to attract predator ladybugs, and if the aphids seem to be getting the upper hand, spray a mixture of dish soap and water wherever they appear.

Flower Power. Plant annual flowers like salvia, marigold, zinnia, sunflower, and cosmos.

Harvest Time. Harvest asparagus, peas, and spring lettuce.

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