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May Gardening Tips

May isn’t just about growth—it’s also about maintenance. From prepping the soil to strategic pruning, every step enhances your garden’s resilience against the approaching summer heat. Plus, early intervention keeps those pesky weeds and garden pests in check so they don’t spoil the party.

Manage your gardening efforts with our structured checklist to keep your outdoor space thriving and beautiful. Whether conserving water or ensuring your plants are healthy and robust, follow these May garden tips to ensure your spring garden is nothing short of spectacular.


Table of Contents


7 Water Management Tips


As we transition into May, the climbing temperatures can challenge maintaining a thriving garden. Proper irrigation becomes not just beneficial but essential. By integrating smart water management practices, you can optimize your garden's water usage, prevent stress on your plants, and even improve their overall growth and bloom potential during this pivotal time of year.


  1. Check the Slow Leak Detector: Weekly checks on your water meter’s slow leak detector can save water and prevent damage. This simple step allows you to catch any unnoticed leaks early, potentially saving gallons of water and protecting your plants from overwatering.

  2. Repair Irrigation Leaks: Address any leaks in your irrigation system immediately to avoid water wastage. Regular maintenance ensures optimal performance, reduces the risk of a major breakdown, and extends the lifespan of your watering system.

  3. Optimize Irrigation Schedule: Adjust your irrigation controllers to 60% of the July watering schedule to reflect the typical May requirement of 70-75%. This adjustment helps match water application with plant needs, improving water use efficiency and supporting healthy plant growth.

  4. Adjust Sprinklers: Ensure spray and rotor-type sprinklers do not overspray beyond plant areas. Positioning your sprinklers correctly maximizes water coverage and reduces waste, making watering more effective and eco-friendly.

  5. Prevent Runoff: Use a cycle/soak method to prevent water runoff for your sprinkler run times. This method breaks watering into shorter intervals, allowing the soil to absorb more water, promoting deeper root growth, and enhancing soil health.

  6. Rain Check: Turn off your irrigation system during spring rain events as needed. Taking advantage of natural rainfall conserves water and encourages you to adjust your watering practices according to current weather conditions, maintaining the balance your garden needs.

  7. Mosquito Control: Eliminate any standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Regularly check areas like plant saucers, bird baths, and clogged gutters, as these can be prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Keeping these areas dry will significantly reduce mosquito populations and make outdoor spaces more enjoyable.


Don't let the rising temperatures of May put your garden at risk. Embrace smart water management practices to ensure your garden not only survives but thrives. For personalized water management advice and solutions, call Gardenworks Inc.


4 Lawn Care Tips


If your outdoor space includes a lush green lawn, now is the perfect time to get it summer-ready with some essential lawn care strategies. Follow these critical garden tips for May to bolster the health of your lawn and garden and prepare them for the rising temperatures ahead. If you haven't opted for turf removal yet, these proactive steps will fortify your landscape and enhance its vibrancy and bloom potential. 


By taking action now, you ensure your lawn remains a lush, inviting oasis throughout the challenging summer months. Whether aerating the soil, timely watering, or precise mowing techniques, each plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy, thriving landscape.


  1. High Weed Mow: Perform your first high weed mow of the season to keep your yard tidy. This not only enhances the aesthetic of your lawn but also prevents weeds from sapping essential nutrients from the soil, which are crucial for grass growth.

  2. Lawn Fertilization: Proper fertilization in May is crucial for a healthy, resilient lawn during the summer. If drought conditions occur, it's advisable to reduce or suspend fertilizing. Fertilizing your lawn correctly at this time will enhance its strength and provide essential nutrients needed for thriving in extreme heat, ensuring it stays robust and vibrant throughout the season.

  3. Lawn Aeration: Aerate your lawn to improve drought survival. This process allows for better water absorption, reduces water runoff, and enhances oxygen circulation to the roots, all contributing to a stronger, more resilient lawn.

  4. Weed Control: Apply broadleaf weed control in lawns when air temperatures are between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Doing so in this temperature range maximizes the efficacy of the herbicide, ensuring thorough weed elimination without harming your lawn.


May Plant Maintenance Checklist


May is the perfect time to engage actively with your environment, learn more about the needs of different plants, and apply that knowledge to improve your garden's beauty and functionality. Get your hands dirty with some planting and ongoing plant maintenance. 


  1. Remove Frost Damage: Remove frost damage from plants after the danger of frost has passed. This helps prevent the spread of disease and encourages healthier, new growth.

  2. Spring Fertilization: Fertilize trees and shrubs. If drought conditions persist, suspend this task or apply half the usual rates. Proper fertilization boosts plant vigor and prepares them for the hotter months ahead, ensuring they have the nutrients they need to thrive.

  3. Plant Summer Bulbs and Annuals: This is an excellent opportunity to add a splash of color to your garden that will last throughout the warm season. Consider incorporating a variety of heights and colors to create a dynamic visual impact in your garden spaces.

  4. Inspect and Treat for Pests: Check plants for aphids and treat as needed. Release beneficial insects for natural pest control. This integrated pest management approach minimizes the need for chemical pesticides and promotes a more sustainable, eco-friendly garden environment.

  5. Apply Deer Repellent: Apply repellent to protect your plants in deer-prone areas. To maintain its effectiveness, reapply the repellent according to the product instructions, especially after rainfall. Additionally, rotating between different types of repellents can help prevent deer from becoming accustomed to a single formula.

  6. Deadheading and Cleaning: Remove spent flowers from spring bulbs and clean up the areas around them. This keeps your garden neat and encourages plants to focus their energy on future growth rather than seed production. Additionally, clearing away debris can prevent the onset of diseases and pests, which thrive in decomposing plant material.

  7. Prune After Flowering: Lightly prune spring flowering plants after they bloom. During drought, minimize or skip pruning. Pruning at this stage helps to shape the plant and encourages a denser growth pattern for the following year. Be mindful of the plant's health and the local climate conditions when deciding how much to prune.

  8. Control Invasive Weeds: Begin control measures for Bermudagrass, Crabgrass, and other noxious weeds. Early intervention is key to preventing these invasive species from taking over your garden and competing with your desirable plants for nutrients, light, and space.

  9. Hand Weeding: Maintain the aesthetic and health of your garden by hand weeding in and around plants. This manual approach allows for precision and care, minimizing damage to plant roots and promoting a healthier, more controlled garden environment.

  10. Groundcover and Vines: Cut back or mow groundcovers to rejuvenate them and begin training new growth on vines. This helps maintain a tidy appearance and encourages healthy, vibrant growth that is more resistant to pests and diseases.


Get Help with Your May Gardening Checklist


By following this comprehensive May gardening checklist, you can ensure that your garden remains a lush, inviting space throughout the upcoming summer months. 


Ready to transform your garden into a vibrant summer sanctuary? Contact Gardenworks Inc. today to discover how our expertise can bring your garden to life. Let’s make this summer the most beautiful yet. Happy gardening!


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