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Whistling Gardener Blog

The Whistling Gardener's May Check List

The Whistling Gardener's May checklist.

WELL, I THINK IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT SPRING HAS SPRUNG. I am now mowing my lawn twice a week (but only because I like to keep it very short), watering my containers several times a week (these are pots with permanent plantings that tend to shed the rain), the frogs are making a ruckus every evening and the robins are at it every morning around 5am or earlier. Why on earth do robins have to start chirping so damn early in the morning anyway? Yes, spring is in full swing and it’s time to get serious in the garden. Here are my key points for this month.

LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING BLOOMING PLANTS—Flowering shrubs like Forsythia, Pieris, Winter Heather and early rhodies and azaleas should be pruned back now to control and shape the new growth. Candy tuft, Aubretia, creeping phlox and just about anything that will finish blooming this month needs to be cut back and groomed when the flowers fade. This small task will reap huge dividends by keeping your plants compact and tidy and covered with new blooms next season. Left undone you will end up with scraggly and overgrown specimens that after a few years you will want to rip out and replace. It is also smart to fertilize after pruning to support the new growth.

Plant Insurance - Who Needs It?

Steve Smith reviews some basic planting procedures that will help insure success for all of us. He wants to drive home the importance of compost, fertilizer and to a lesser extent transplant shock reducing products.

This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.

Now that we are in the thick of the planting season I think it is prudent to review some basic planting procedures that will help insure success for all of us. Mostly, I want to drive home the importance of compost, fertilizer and to a lesser extent transplant shock reducing products. So, here we go..................

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