Friday, May 9, 2014
Posted By: in Gardening

I am aboard the Queen of New Westminster, the sky is blue and I have a London Fog in my thermos mug. Not a bad middle of the day! Mother nature has tossed a little of everything at us towards the end of April. I am dearly looking forward to may…and the arrival of new books being released in the Dresden Files series…yes, I am a book geek! I am also ready to push up my sleeves and start flogging the mayhem of my garden into shape. Thank goodness that new book comes in at the end of the month or this might be a short list!

Most important lesson for May…pace yourselves, or you won’t last past mid June!

Lawn Care

Fertilize with a good all purpose fertilizer. I like to use a slow release and mow, mow, mow! Great time to renovate your lawn or topdress and overseed if you need to. Art's Nursery sells grass seed as well as Turf

Paperbark Maple - Tree

Trees and Shrubs

Great time to fertilize trees and shrubs. Make sure you have mulched tree circles around your trees to prevent weedwhacker and mower damage. Your pruning should be done but you can still remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches. Avoid moving existing trees and shrubs, but you are still good for planting new.

Garden Beds

Fertilize, weed and topdress. Allow your bulbs to die down without cutting…they are building next years bloom right now. Weeding is an art and timing is everything. Even if you don’t have time for a full on weed, make sure you whack off the flowers of weeds, especially snap weeds, dandelions and black medic!! I speak from experience…I now have the next generation…thousands of them to deal with.

Save your back and shoulders…get the right tool for the right job and yes, it is worth walking back to the shed to grab some more tools. Better yet, load everything up plus a tarp into the wheelbarrow and have it with you. My favorite tool? My digging fork and Jorge my double headed hoe…and yes I named it, it’s that good. As will trees and shrubs it’s getting late to move perennials around but still good for planting.

hanging baskets

Hanging Baskets and Pots

Take your time and plan if you are making your own. We even have a couple of classes on it. Pinterest is an awesome resource as is Houzz. If you are buying one make sure you pinch back flowers and get your fertilizer ready! Ask questions, make sure you pick the right plants for the right place.

dahlias and summer bulbs

Summer Bulbs

As the ground warms up you can check drainage and plant. Make sure you stake where you’ve planted to remind you so you don’t weed them…also speaking from experience.

Veggie Gardens

A good practice is to visit your plot twice a day if it’s in your yard. Once every few days, if it’s at a community plot. This way you can knock back the weeds with a minimum of ground disturbance. Seed sparingly and then reseed some crops in two week intervals. Use row cover to get your little seedlings off to a safe start if it’s cold in your area.

floating plants

Water Gardens

you might want to add some floating coverage to keep the algae out of your pond while your water lilies take their sweet time coming up!! You will need about seventy five percent coverage to inhibit the growth of the hair algae. I like duckweed in my water gardens…yes you will have to skim some off if your goldfish don’t eat it all, but it also makes excellent compost.

That should do for now, I think you have a lot to do. Please don’t forget to sit back and enjoy all of your hard work. Spend some time outside just sitting…that means you Gayle and John and all of the rest of you crazy gardeners. You deserve it!! Those Adirondack chairs, hammocks and benches aren’t just there to add a colour contrast to the lilies and hostas, because at the end of the month…when my book comes from the bookstore…you know where I’ll be!

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle is a certified horticulturalist and Landscape designer. She is currently an up and coming apple guru, growing over 120 cultivars which explains her passion for edible garden design. Laurelle works part time for Art’s Nursery. You can also interact with her through Art’s monthly newsletter, our blog and our gardening channel on YouTube.


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