May Southern Garden Checklist

A bright green properly fertilized vegetable garden.

Flower Care:

  • As cool-season annuals fade it is time to prepare the summer garden. Remove faded annuals and weeds then prepare the soil. Add organic matter and Milorganite® to the top 8 inches of soil before planting the summer garden.
  • Mulch gardens with pine straw, shredded leaves or other organic material. A thin layer keeps roots cool and moist, suppresses weeds and improves the soil as they decompose.
  • Continue to deadhead plants (remove flowers) to encourage continual blooming.
  • Pinch mums and asters back to 6 inches throughout June and into early July for more compact growth and a profusion of fall flowers.

Vegetable Garden Planting and Harvest:

  • Plant seeds of beans, cucumbers, corn and southern peas.
  • Set out transplants of eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, squash and melons.
  • Those in the far south may be harvesting instead of planting. Enjoy the break until its time to make late summer plantings for a fall or winter harvest.
  • Harvest broccoli when the florets are still tight and green. Harvest the outer leaves of greens when they are full size.
  • Pick sugar snap and snow peas every few days for maximum flavor and productivity.
  • Water established plants thoroughly to encourage deeper roots that are more heat and drought tolerant.

Tree and Shrub Planting and Care:

  • Although fall is the best time, you can plant container trees and shrubs now.
  • Fertilize with Milorganite when planting or transplanting trees and shrubs. Milorganite's non-burning formula slowly releases nutrients to feed your shrubs and trees for 8-10 weeks.
  • Mulch the surrounding soil and be prepared to water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and slightly moist. The summer heat is stressful on new plantings and you will need to water more often.
  • Transplant palms in spring and summer at the same time you are planting tomatoes in the garden.