Playing in the dirt: May is a busy month for gardeners


Sharon Carrigan

Sharon Carrigan



Sharon Carrigan



Ah, the merry merry month of May. Mother's Day, graduations and final exams. Freedom or job hunting or ... gardening! There are many things to do in the garden this month. But before we get to that, a great big thank you to all the folks who helped make the second annual Lowndes Master Gardeners' sale a success. Despite the reschedule (due to weather), lots of gardeners came out to see what was available and to purchase. Our proceeds will go into a greenhouse this year, but in the future, we hope to develop numerous educational opportunities for the community and young gardeners. 


On a different note, there are many gardeners in Columbus and other areas that show off their gardens to residents and visitors driving by. Why not lend your expertise and gain some additional knowledge at the same time by becoming a Master Gardener? Classes are held in February and March each year. You will gain fellowship, knowledge and fun all at the same time. Come join us next February.  




Tips for May 


Planting: Plant annuals and perennials. For the shade garden, impatiens, coleus, sweet alyssum, lobelia and annual dianthus. For sunny gardens plant verbena, periwinkle, ageratum, marigolds, zinnias, petunia, wax begonia, clematis, four-o'clocks and portulaca (aka moss rose). Watch the weather and water when it gets dry.  


For the veggie garden, plant cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, peas, beans, okra, watermelons and cantaloupe. 


Pest control: Watch for red spiders, thrips, aphids, lacebugs and lacewings, crown rot, slugs/snails, mildew and fungus. 


Pruning: New buds are forming on azaleas and camellias, so prune now or not at all this year. Prune gardenias by cutting for a bouquet, thus killing two birds with one stone, sweetening your home atmosphere and cutting back the shrub.  


Regular cutting of blooming plants (early in the morning for best results) will keep them blooming longer. Remove seedpods from bulbs and irises as they sap the plants' strength. 


Mulch: This will conserve moisture for the plant and keep the soil cool. 


Now, put on your clogs, gloves and hat and go play in the dirt. 


Sharon Carrigan of Columbus shares monthly gardening tips on behalf of the Lowndes County Master Gardeners.



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