Friday, May 13, 2011

In Your Yard: May

Mother's Day means flowers for a lot of folks, whether that is an arrangement for the table or a new plant for the yard. We hope you had a special Mother's Day this year and celebrated the mamas, moms, and mothers in your life. And if you received a plant recently, know that the ground should be warm enough to plant all warm season annuals. For more tips for your home landscape, read on!

Notice the flecks of blue in the Zoysia grass above? It's fertilizer and if you haven't already, you should apply the correct fertilizer to your yard now. Water conservatively but remember that all grass requires water to grow! To keep fungus at a minimum and get the most bang for your buck water-wise, water early in the day.   Keep the blade on your lawnmower sharp and raise the deck height as the temperature rises. Remember to cut no more than a third of the the height of grass to reduce the grass's stress and to discourage weeds from growing.

Another piece of your yard that needs fertilizing are your perennials. Use a slow-release fertilizer and continue to monitor for insects.

By mid-May you should be wrapping up your planting of warm-season annuals. According to Amy Bledsoe, "This will give young, tender roots a better chance to get established before sweltering, summer heat sets in by the end of May. Remember, don’t over water or water too frequently as this will promote shallow root growth. The goal is to water enough to keep the annuals alive, but to stress them just a little to encourage deep root growth to help them survive the hot, dry summers we experience in Columbia."

Established shrubs should have a large enough root system to survive the upcoming dry, hot weather and should need very little (if any) supplemental watering. Newly planted shrubs, however, will need irrigation for the first two years. As always, monitor shrubs for insects and diseases.
Two places to keep mowers and string trimmers away from are the roots and trunks of trees. Maintain a six foot diameter layer of mulch around trees to keep grass and weeds from growing too close. Only a 3-4 inch layer is needed (definitely not a "volcano"). Like new shrubs, newly planted trees will need to be watered throughout warm weather.

Want to learn more about the recommended May yard tasks? Read here.

And if you're looking for two semi-experienced yard professionals, these guys (Ashley and Anna's sons) will be ready for weekend and summer jobs in a few years--Mason just turned 1 and Levi turns 3 in June.

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