Times are changing and everyone is busier than ever; with kids to coach, meetings to attend and work to do. So “coming” home at the end of a day can be even more important to us then ever. Enjoy daylight savings time and extend your living quarters to your yard and garden. Think of your outdoor spaces as an extension of your home. And in doing so, consider the floor, walls, and ceiling per se. Outdoor fire pits, grill and bar centers, rugs, clocks, décor and more are available to add a cozy room effect to outdoor living spaces. Adding resting areas is easy to do…hang a hammock in a tree, set a bistro set in the perennial garden, or put benches in your hosta beds. Then invite friends over and have a cook out. Let the nature in your yard tickle your senses with the sounds of birds, smells of flowers, sound of running water, and splashes of color. Hardscapes can enhance your outdoor rooms by adding a “floor” to your area of enjoyment.
Begin planting summer annuals to add color and spice to the landscape, and don’t just stop with the flowerbeds. Container gardening continues to be a trendy thing. The many choices, styles, shapes, and colors of containers make great accent pieces for inside or out. Learn to mix annuals and perennials for great combinations. Try hostas with begonias and impatiens….or hydrangeas with groundcovers. These containers can make great accent pieces on the front porch, the back deck, in a flower bed, around the pool, or at the end of the driveway. And you can rearrange them as often as you wish. No room for a vegetable garden? Try one in a container. You can enjoy fresh tomatoes easily this way.
There are many safe options to treat pests in the yard and garden. Treat slugs in your garden with organic diatomaceous earth. This is a powder product, 100% safe, and is good for the treatment of slugs, ants, fleas and ticks outside, as well as roaches and ants indoors. Check out the chemical-free options available to you today. Then sit back and watch your kids and pets enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Other May tips include:
· Plant hardy water lilies now.
· Begin fertilizing annuals now and continue at regular intervals all season long.
· Keep bluegrass lawns cut at 3” high, fescue lawns at 3.5” high and zoysia at 2” high.
· Apply post-emergence broadleaf weed controls to the lawn now if needed.
· Begin planting sweet corn, tomato plants, peppers and sweet potatoes as the soil warms up.
· Keep asparagus harvested for continued spear production.
· Remove rhubarb seed stalks as they appear.
· Birds eat many insects so attract them to your garden by providing good nesting habitats.
· Herbs planted in average soils need no extra fertilizer. Too much may reduce flavor and pungency at harvest.
· Watch for fireflies on warm nights. Both adults and larvae are important predators.
Until next month,…Enjoy connecting with nature and….see you in the garden….
Sandi Hillermann McDonald