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GARDENING TIPS FOR SONOMA COUNTY


May 2019 Gardening Tips

www.thegardeningtutor.net - Clematis 'Multi-Blue'
Clematis Hybrid ‘Pink Champagne’


    May 2019
    Gardening Checklist*
    What to SHOP for . . .
      Remember, when you shop for your plants this season, we are fortunate to have many small local nurseries from which to choose. Many times the selection, quality, and service are better than the larger stores.
    Checkbox Summer Annuals -Petunias, Lobelia, Zinnias, Salpiglossis sinuata.
    Checkbox Perennials -Leonotis leonurus, Lobelia cardinalis (likes water but worth it), Centaurea, Mimulus.
    Checkbox Shrubs - Rhododendron, Roses, Abutilon, Lantanas (many are frost sensitive-used as annuals).
    Checkbox Vines - Clematis hybrids (may re-bloom when deadheaded), Mandevilla (frost sensitive-used as annual).
     


    Tasks to do . . .
    Checkbox Watering - We ask a lot of our plants. Here in our Mediterranean climate we don't get the summer rains other areas do. Here we have approximately a six month period for possible rainy days followed by a six month period of drought. With this in mind, now is the time of year it’s super important to flush irrigation lines and check all emitters so that your plants will be happy throughout our hot/dry summer. Lawns- your lawn needs water when you walk on it and the blades do not spring back up. Water in short burst rotation-ex: 5 minutes water, rest fifteen minutes, 5 minutes water, repeat a few times. This allows time for the water to soak in and prevents run off. Roses-most roses (especially hybrid tea roses) do best with regular watering.
    Checkbox Pruning - After the flowers fade from spring flowering shrubs, you can prune Lilac, Rhododendron, Azalea, Camellia, Forsythia, Ribes, and Flowering Almond. There are different types of pruning depending upon what your intention is for your plants. If you would like to improve your confidence for pruning contact Mary for an appointment. Ferns - if you have not pruned out the old fronds from your ferns do it now. Follow all the dead fronds down to the base of the stem and cut out entire frond; being careful not to cut the new growth.
    Checkbox Fruit Trees - Although there is a natural thinning of fruit in nature referred to as “June drop”, it’s still a good idea to thin fruits a little before June drop. After June drop you can thin some more. The most important reason for thinning fruit is to lessen the weight on the branch so that you do not come out to your garden one morning and see an entire branch on the ground and a big gaping wound in your fruit tree. The other reason is to encourage bigger and more healthy fruit!
    Checkbox Hold back from buying those beguiling cool season annuals such as pansies. Now is the time to plant warm season annuals such as zinnias, cosmos, lobelia, and marigolds. Of course if you are just looking for quick color for a party pansies planted in containers will work in dappled shade.
    Checkbox Weeds - For more about how to manage weeds watch The Gardening Tutor video: Weeds, How They Grow and How to Manage Them.
    Checkbox Fertilizing - After the flowers fade from Camellia, Rhododendron, and Azalea, fertilize with an acid fertilizer so they get a good start on the year it takes for them to form next year’s flowers! Gardenias appreciate regular fertilizing to keep flowering throughout the growing season. Use an acid fertilizer once a month for in ground plants and every two weeks (at half strength) for container plants. Blueberries will appreciate some acid fertilizer this month too! Blueberries are great for large containers. Mulch blueberries with redwood compost and they will love it! Watch The Gardening Tutor video: Two Quick Methods to Apply Fertilizer.
    Checkbox Container Plants - Apply at least a one inch layer of compost as mulch to container plants.
    Checkbox Pest Management - Control ants with bait. When you see ants crawling up and down your fruit trees, ornamental shrubs and other plants this is a sign that your plants may be infested with aphid or other piercing, sucking insects. First, control the ant population. Also, wash off the aphids with a strong stream of water. If the infestation is still heavy use insecticidal soap (remember the follow up spray-follow directions on the bottle). Sometimes, if you control the ants, the beneficial insects will show up to control those aphids for you.
    Checkbox Do You Like Nasturtiums? - Now is the time to plant your seeds or seedlings of Tropaeolum (Nasturtium). Remember that once you have established your plants you can start to hold back on the water. Watering Tropaeolums less creates more flowers. Watering more creates bigger leaves and fewer flowers. Sunflower seeds can be sown every few weeks now for a succession of blooms all summer.
       
    Free printable . . .
      Looking for a way to stay organized in your garden?
    Download this Free Printable Gardening Checklist* and you’ll be amazed how inspired you’ll feel!
    Let us know how you’re doing. You can do it!
    Remember, this printable was created as a short list of tasks with minimal information. If you would like more in-depth information,
    you can always refer back to the checklist above each month for more details.
     

    The Gardening Tutor 2019 Printable

    *Colors may vary depending upon your computer screen and printer.


*For More Detailed Gardening Tips
Check Out Our Archives Below

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The Gardening Tutor
Hands-on, Individualized Gardening Instruction
And Consulting
in Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, California
707.545.6863

Hands-On Individualized Gardening Instruction and Consulting in Sonoma County