Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yeah ~ It's May

Happy May Day Garden Friends!  May Day celebrations started back in the pre Christian pagan era and have continued to include the May pole dances, May baskets, and a general celebration of nature's fertility.  Basically, celebrating all things possible for the coming growing year.  It has always included flowers.

Some of the things traditionally happening in this area in May are:
Morel mushroom season peaks (this is dependent upon the weather).
Wild turkey poults hatch.
Coyote pups emerge from dens.
Pheasant and quail lay eggs.
Hummingbirds nest when the columbine blooms.
Warbler migration peaks.
Deer give birth to fawns.
Doves, geese, wood ducks and ruffled grouse hatch first nest.
Beaver, skunks and bobcats are born.
Canada geese residents peak hatch.
Typically the Redbud and Dogwood bloom but these are well past this year.
Nurseries and flower stores hold open houses and classes.

Temperature by the end of May:  79 degrees
Rain in total:  4.25 inches
Snow:  Trace
Tornadoes:  322 per year

Records in May:
High:  104 degrees in 1934
Low:  24 degrees in 2005
Rain:  Most 11.43 inches in 1974 ~ Low 0.31 inches in 1992
Last accumulating snow:  0.3 inches on May 3, 1935
Last flurries:  May 22, 1917

This year, duties in the garden are running about a month early.  Although we still have to be careful of the cold nights and chance of frost.  Some of these you may have already accomplished.

In the garden:
Divide summer and fall blooming perennials.
Plant pansies, snaps, violas and perennials.
Cut back ornamental grasses.  (It's too late to burn)
Plant potatoes, asparagus, rhubarb, onions, peas, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn
Near the end of the month, plant spinach, lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, melons and peppers.  Also, tubers such as caladiums, cannas, dahlias and tube roses.
Prune grapevines and clematis if your variety calls for it.)
Watch for frost warnings.
Start harvesting asparagus, rhubarb, radishes and strawberries.
Remove flower stalks from rhubarb.
Prune out dead branches. 
Feed lawn around Mother's Day.
Prune lavender.
Pinch pine candles if you're trying to shape your white pines.
Plant Gladiolas - plant every 1-2 weeks for flowering all summer.
Pinch out terminal inch or two on new phlox, asters and chrysanthemums.  This will cause them to bush instead of getting tall and flopping in the fall.
Weigela, flowering almond and forsythia may be pruned after the blooming has stopped.
After last frost:  set out sweet potato, coleus, geranium, impatient and wax begonia.
Plant alyssum, dill and rue for beneficial insects.

If you want to watch birds up close, keep sunflowers in your feeders.
Keep the bird bath full.
The male gold finch is again gold.
Bats should begin to emerge on warm evenings.
Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, Brown Thrashers, Robins, Indigo Blue Buntings, House Finches, Cardinals and sparrows are all busy building nests, raising young and singing.   

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s Party!” 
    - Robin Williams

No comments:

Post a Comment