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Colorful annuals take center stage – begonias

Colorful annuals take center stage – zinnias

Colorful annuals take center stage – begonias

Colorful perennials take center stage – geraniums and carnations

Roses – queen of the garden

Tropical foliage

Hummingbirds return from winter migration

  • General Gardening Tips
  • Trees and Shrubs
  • Annuals and Perennials
  • Fruit and Vegetable Gardens
  • Lawns
  • House Plants

May is a wonderful month for gardening. The average frost date for our region is behind us and we can begin planting tender annuals, vegetables, tropical plants and everything else in our gardens.

When planting trees, shrubs, annuals or perennials, we recommend using Merrifield Planting Mix and Bio-tone starter Plus Plant Food.

Welcome hummingbirds to your garden with plants including fuschia, salvia and agastache. Clean feeders and replace with fresh nectar at least once each week.

Trees and shrubs that provide color in the month of May include azaleas, Kousa dogwoods, Japanese snowbell, fringe tree, spirea, sweetbay magnolias, weigela, oakleaf hydrangeas, rhododendron and viburnum. Visit the nursery and see these beautiful plants in bloom.

The best time to prune azaleas is right after the flowers have faded. Thin out vigorous, over grown branches to stimulate new growth from the interior of the plants. You can also rejuvenate old, leggy azaleas with more aggressive pruning. Fertilize with Merrifield Flowering Plant Food or Holly-tone to support healthy growth and flowering for next year.

Roses begin to flower this month. Check them regularly for insect and pests and spray with Bonide Rose Shield or Neem Oil, an organic option, as needed.

Annuals become the center of attention in many gardens this month and help to hide fading bulb foliage. Add continuous color to your garden with geraniums, begonias, marigolds, petunias, million bells, and vinca.

Fertilize annuals and perennials in container gardens and landscape beds with Merrifield Flowering Plant Food to keep them growing and blooming.

Brighten up your yard with the dramatic, colorful foliage of sweet potato vine, coleus, alternanthera, caladium and many other annuals and tropical plants.

Plant colorful perennials, such as peonies, salvia, poppies, columbine, coral bells, foam flower and more.

It’s time to plant tuberous begonias, gladiolus and canna bulbs directly into the soil.

Expand your edible garden by adding strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes and basil.

Fertilize fruits and vegetables with Garden-tone or Dr. Earth Homegrown Tomato, Vegetable and Herb organic fertilizers.

Prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers by mixing a bit of compost and lime into the soil prior to planting. This is especially important if you are growing in containers.

If you haven’t fed or treated your lawn for weeds this spring, fertilize now with Merrifield Premium 26-0-12 and apply Jonathan Green Crabgrass and Weed Preventer.

Prevent grubs from damaging your lawn later this season by applying Bayer Advanced Season long Grub Control.

If weeds are popping up in your lawn, use Gordon’s Speed Zone or Trimec to kill the weeds without damaging your lawn.

When applying weed killer, avoid newly seeded areas. Always follow the label directions and avoid applying it on windy days or near waterways.

Enjoy your houseplants outside this summer by moving them to your deck or patio. It is best to gradually introduce them to more direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from burning.

Prune and fertilize hibiscus, gardenias and other large tropical plants that have been overwintered indoors with Jack’s Classic (water-soluble powder) or Osmocote (slow-release granular).

Re-pot root bound houseplants to a larger pot, if needed. Merrifield stocks a full line of containers, including terra cotta, wood, concrete, ceramic and plastic. Use Merrifield Potting Mix when repotting houseplants.