Seasonal Calendar – May

• No matter which grass, your turf will look its best if you follow a calendar of maintenance tasks. Download your lawn calendar at Lawn Care Calendars.

• Treat for azalea lace bugs if you’ve had problems in the past. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil and synthetic insecticide chemicals all work well, sprayed under the leaves.

• Look for tiny “toothpicks” on the trunk of your Japanese maple, Kwansan cherry and other small landscape trees. The Asian ambrosia beetle is spreading death-dealing fungus inside the trunk.

• Plant begonias, coleus, geraniums, petunias and vinca for summer-long color in your landscape.

• Fill the ruts and low spots in your lawn with a 1:1 mixture of sand and topsoil. Sweep with a broom afterwards to expose growing grass blades.

• Apply Bacillus thuringiensis to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower to ward off cabbage looper caterpillar damage as these plants mature.

• Snip off sprouts from the base and lower trunk of crepe myrtles that are being trained to grow in an upright tree form.

• Remove leafless limbs from shade trees. If they don’t have leaves by now, they won’t be coming back.

• Dig, divide and transplant your crowded irises to a better location, if needed, after they bloom.

Prune early-flowering azaleas now that they have finished blooming. Remove tall sprouts at their base, inside the shrub.

Pinch out the growing tips of rhododendron limbs now that flowers are gone. You’ll get many more flowers next year.

• Plant rosemary, basil, oregano, dill and other herbs for savory summer meals.

• Place a newspaper mulch 10 sheets thick under tomato plants to prevent leaf diseases. Cover with pine straw.

• Plant corn, squash, beans and peas now that the soil is quite warm. Make another planting of corn in two weeks.

• Drill a one eighth inch hole in the cap of a two liter soft drink bottle. Fill the bottle, cap it and upend it in the soil of your patio plants to slowly water them during the day.

• Control fire ants by lightly scattering a bait over your lawn. Forty-eight hours later, use an insecticide on any large mounds you can see. Repeat in September.

• Get in the habit of wearing a hat and sunscreen whenever you work in the sun. Skin cancer cases are on the rise.

• Plants need an inch of water per week. What’s an inch of water? If rainfall or irrigation fills an empty soup can to a depth of one inch, that’s just what plants need.

• Don’t put rocks in the bottom of houseplant pots. They actually decrease drainage and aeration for the plant roots.

• The best time to water is between 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. This allows the grass to dry before nightfall the next day and prevents disease.