Please SEND ME EMAIL if you would like to be notified when the next monthly newsletter is published. Your email address will be held in strict confidence, and will not be shared with any person or business for any reason.
|Gardening By The Seasons
Late Spring 2002
|Did you reach this page by using a search engine? You may be able to find what you're looking for by going here.|
The gardening approach that drives this "To Do" list is based on principals of Integrated Pest Management and Organic philosophies. These tasks are also organized in such a way as to give you a systematic, routine method of caring for your garden, covering all aspects of basic horticultural practices (while keeping in mind that you have a Life full of demands on your time!). Because this schedule is based on my own particular region -- The Pacific Northwest -- you may need to adjust some of the tasks to a more appropriate time for your climate.
Week One (April 28
- May 4)
| May is the month to plant annuals in your
garden. So go ahead, do your color pots, put in your
annuals, and enjoy the way they make your garden
This is a good time to start tomatoes and cucumbers from seed. Start them in a sunny windowsill to protect them from cold temps.
Weed the North side of your garden.
Reapply, renew, or refresh your slug control efforts.
Liquid fertilize one half of your flower beds.
Apply sulfur to trees & shrubs affected with leaf spot diseases last year. Be sure you don't do this while bees are buzzing about!
Week Two (May 5 -
|Don't remove the yellowing foliage from your
spring-flowering bulbs! They need those leaves to store
energy for next year's blooms. In fact, don't even braid
or roll the foliage, as this will reduce the surface
exposed to the sun, which reduces the ability of the
plant to phytosynthesize. To help ensure that next year's
flowers are a good size, snap off any developing seed
Weed the East side of your garden.
Liquid fertilize other half of your flower beds.
Keep on deadheading your spring-blooming bulbs.
Week Three (May 12
- May 18)
|Check your paper for Iris Festivals in your
area. If you've never been to one, it's worth your time
to experience a wonderful feast for your eyes AND nose!
Don't delay, iris blooms don't last very long!
Weed the South side of your garden.
Clean your bird feeders & bird baths (1:10 bleach to water ratio).
Make another application of dormant horticultural oil on the trees & shrubs that were plagued by pests last year, such as spider mites or aphids.
Liquid fertilize your lawn.
Apply sulfur to trees & shrubs affected with leaf spot diseases last year. This should be the last month you need to do this twice a month, unless you happen to be really plagued with disease. Be sure you don't do this while bees are buzzing about!
Week Four (May 19
- May 25)
|Walk through your entire garden. Inspect
everything, checking for signs of insect pests, animal
pests, and diseases. Notice what seems to be growing
well, and what seems to be struggling. Take appropriate
action as necessary.
Resist the urge to pull yellowing foliage of tulips & daffodils, or any other spring-blooming bulbs. They need that foliage to send energy to the bulb for next year's flowers.
Weed the West side of your garden.
Inspect your lawn & garden for signs of leatherjacket or cutworm infestation. Apply beneficial nematodes if necessary (can be used in other parts of garden, too, to control black vine weevil larvae and other pests presently in the larval stage).
Week Five (May 26
- June 1)
Does anything in your garden need staking? Inspect your plants for flopping, drooping, or falling-over tendencies. There are a variety of stakes, props, and other supports you can find at your local garden center.
Do your flower beds need to be edged? This is a good time to delineate where your lawn ends and your flower beds begin.
Looking for information from a previous month's newsletters? Please go HERE.
||"We Found An Abandoned
This is the time of year when lots of people think they have found a "chick that's fallen from it's nest", or a "chick that's been abandoned by it's parents". Truth is, most baby birds become fledglings, which means they are not quite capable of adult flight, but they are out of the nest (kind of like teenaged kids!). These fledglings are capable of short flight, a couple of feet to several yards at a time (sometimes more). You may notice that fledgling birds have feathers that don't seem fully developed, have patches of down on their bodies, have short/stumpy wings & tails, and may seem to behave "stunned" or "lost" or "dumb", etc. Generally, when baby birds fledge, they do fly a short distance from the nest. Sometimes they return to the nest periodically for a week or so, but frequently once they're out, they stay out.
Most parent birds build the nest in an area they can defend from predators, and which is close to a decent supply of food. When the baby birds get big enough, the parents try to encourage their fledglings to a nearby area that seems somewhat safe, an area that may have food sources that the baby bird can learn as something good to eat. At this stage of development, the parent birds do allow their baby to be unattended for periods of time. This is Nature's Way. Sometimes the parent birds are off taking care of a second nest full of chicks. Sometimes the parent birds are simply taking a much deserved rest from their chick-rearing duties. But they are almost always nearby, keeping an eye on what's happening. So, when people come along, find the "abandoned" baby bird & take it home with the good intentions of "saving" it, the parent birds probably watched the entire process in horror, helpless to prevent their offspring from being "chick-napped".
The very best thing to do with a found fledgling is to return it to where you found it. The parent birds are probably nearby, hoping against hope that you will do this very thing. Sometimes fledglings need to be protected from cats or dogs or other predators, and this is especially the case if your pet is the one who alerted you to the bird in the first place. In fact, you may need to keep Fluffy or Fido out of the yard for a week or so until the bird is capable of flying away. This may or may not be practical, but it's worth considering.
Something else that is commonly talked about this time of year is when you actually find an occupied/active nest that's blown down from a tree, or which has been removed by curious kids. Again, the same advice applies - RETURN THE NEST EXACTLY TO WHERE IT CAME FROM. Human scent will NOT keep the parent birds from resuming their duties. It may take a day or so, but the parents will return, and hopefully the chicks will be able to survive until this happens. You may need to secure the nest to the branch or ledge from which it came. And if it was kids who disturbed the nest in the first place, then this is a Golden Opportunity to teach them about respect for Nature and wildlife. Just remember that everyone needs to stay away from the nest until the chicks are gone; you wouldn't want a dog or cat or other predator to follow your scent to the nest, would you?
Here is an excellent website for more information about wild baby birds. Enjoy this wonderful season of New Life in your garden!
(The above article is a repeat from last year due to the timliness of the content.)
||I'm sure you've read numerous advice on
using mothballs in the garden for various forms of pest
control. Did you know that doing so is actually not safe?
The active ingredient in mothballs is napthalene, and is
what make mothballs stink. Napthalene is NOT APPROVED for
inhalation, short-term included. Inhaling the vapors can
make you seriously ill, and by seriously ill I'm talking
about damage to your internal organs. Read the caution on
any mothball box and you'll see where it warns against
breathing the vapors. Napthalene vapors can and do harm
the internal organs of pets, too, as well as wildlife. Of
course, any animal (or child) who eats a piece of a
mothball is going to become seriously ill & will
require medical attention. Mothballs or crystals/flakes
are nothing to take lightly. I hope this information will
help prevent a tragedy in your garden. Besides, I'm sure
I'm not the only person who thinks the very smell of
mothballs is so repulsive that they drive ME out of my
own garden! Here are some links so you can learn more
Have Your Tulips Turned Wimpy?
28 in x 20 in
|Sad but true - tulips often wuss out in our
climate a year or two after planting, but there are some
good reasons: We don't normally get the extreme cold they
prefer, it's usually a bit too wet during the winter than
they like, and we usually put them in our flower beds so
they stay moist during the summer (which they hate).
Eventually, tulips often seem to just stop making good
blooms, period, or sometimes you'll only see wimpy
Sometimes a particular tulip will thrive in your garden. There are some kinds of tulips which will return year after year. But if you have been seduced by the siren song of glamorous tulip blossoms calling to you from the pages of a catalog or from a store display, then be aware that the song is often short-lived. Don't take it personally, okay?
However, if you are anything like me you are still determined to have tulips in your garden! So, if you're hoping that your bulbs will continue to produce beautiful blooms year after year, here are some kinds that tend to do better in our climate:
Looking for information from a previous month's newsletters? Please go HERE.
GardenFoundation LLC visitors are part of an exclusive group that can
take advantage of this special J&P pricing!!! This is a "Private Offer" only made
to a select few websites!!!
|Yard & Garden News - MagPortal.com|
Community Page Two
News - Environment
News - Home & Garden
News - Portland & Salem
Coupons & Shopping
In The Garden
Using Bird Feeders
In The Garden
Dogs & Lawns
Coping With Cats
Petscaping Your Yard
News - Pet News