44May 1, 2013

The month of May has arrived and the vegetable gardeners are itching to get their entire garden planted. They do need to keep in mind that just because the calendar says it is May does not mean that everything can now be planted in the garden.

Many vegetable plants can be damaged or killed by a late frost. The plants that come to mind are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and eggplant. In our area, the last average date for a frost is May 10th. There have been times when we have had a frost as late as Memorial Day. Many of the old farmers would say that these tender vegetables should not be planted until after the full moon in May. The full moon this May is on the 25 Th The reasoning is that when we have a full moon in May, the skies are usually clear at night. This leads to rapid cooling of the air and a likely chance of the temperatures falling below freezing.
Many of you will be asking, “What should I do? “ My answer would be to wait until after the full moon to plant these tender vegetable plants. Keep in mind that there are many vegetables that you can plant now. If you are interested in what you can plant now, just stop by the store and we can help you out.

If you haven’t gotten around to putting crabgrass control on your lawn, you are running out of time. The forsythia bushes are in full bloom and that means that as soon as the forsythia drop their flowers, the crabgrass seeds will begin to sprout.

A dilemma that some of you may have is that you have put down your crabgrass control plus fertilizer and now the dandelions are blooming. You can’t put down a weed and feed product because you will have put down too much fertilizer and you run a great risk of burning the lawn. If this is the case in your yard, you can apply one of the liquid lawn weed killer products. These products don’t contain any fertilizer so you won’t be burning the grass from applying too much fertilizer.

If you have ever thought of growing sweet potatoes in your garden, I have found a source for a variety that will grow well in our area. They should be available in our store about the middle of May.

If you have spring flowering shrubs, you may be thinking about pruning them back to shape them or to reduce their size. Shrubs that bloom in early spring are pruned back right after the shrub is done flowering. If the shrubs have not started blooming and you cut them back, you will be removing the flower buds as you prune back the plant. When it comes to pruning your spring flowering shrubs, patience is a virtue.

Very soon, the winter moth caterpillars will be attacking our trees. At the first sign of this caterpillar eating the leaves of your trees, you should spray your trees with a product containing BT. Bt is an organic insecticide that will quickly kill those caterpillars. It does work its best when the caterpillars are small. Keep an eye on your trees and when you see the caterpillars on the leaves, apply the BT spray to your trees.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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