Rocky Mountain Gardener's May Checklist

The May backyard feels really fresh, lush and colorful, it is difficult to resist. The wonder and beauty of it all keeps us at our tasks after our backs are weary and the sun has grown dim. Enjoy. Wishing you your very best gardening season ever.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Plant summer-flowering bulbs and tubers for example dahlias (shown here), gladiolus, begonias, caladiums, lilies and cannas later in the month for a summertime burst of colour. Include them in container gardens with annuals, herbs and veggies, or plant them directly into the backyard in well-amended soil.

Plant trees, shrubs and perennials the moment the ground is workable. Ornamental trees, such as the Tatarian maple (Acer tataricum) revealed here, are most commonly used as ornamental accents but can also serve as shade trees in tiny landscapes.

Photo by Wikimedia commons consumer Le.Loup.Gris

Avant Garden

Plant veggies and tender annuals after the danger of frost has passed. Harden them off if they’re coming from a greenhouse or home atmosphere. (Hardening off means to acclimate plants by slowly exposing them to more times outside over a period of several weeks or days.)

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Keep the foliage of spring-flowering bulbs — such as daffodils (shown here), tulips, frittilaria and hyacinths — until the plant has completely died back. While green, the leaves photosynthesize and construct food reserves for the plant. When the foliage has dried and can be pulled from the plant with a gentle tug, it can be removed safely.

Prune spring-flowering shrubs — such as forsythia (shown here), quince, lilac, spirea and daphne — promptly after flowering, as needed. Save yourself time and keep a more natural look for your own trees by pruning them lightly by hand instead of shearing them.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Check sprinkler and drip systems. An efficient irrigation system is the ideal way to conserve water.
Make sure your sprinklers are delivering the right amount of water to the right location. Check for leaks and overspray. Adjust your clock to accommodate seasonal conditions (evapotranspiration) and regulations or limitations.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Stay ahead of the weeds. Even though it is not nearly as exciting as planting something new, you’ll be glad you did. Keep your weeding tools useful and do a little each time you are outside.

5 Ways to Naturally Grow the Weed War | More regional gardening guides

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