May Landscape & Garden Tips - Zone 8

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This article provides landscape and garden tips for zone 8
by Brett · All Zones · Growing Basics · 0 Comments · November 03, 2010 · 21,814 views

May Tips for Zone 8 in the South

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May is a frantic month in Southern gardens. Warmer spring weather means there's lots to do! There's flower gardens and veggie gardens to plant. Perennials suddenly appear out of nowhere and demand attention. The lawn is growing and there may be weeds to eliminate. You may not need a list of what to do in the garden in May, because it is staring you in the face every time you walk through your landscape and gardens. But here are some reminders of what you can do. Don't panic:-)


Fertilization & Feeding Tips & Reminders


Feed warm season lawns - If you have a Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine or Zoysia lawn and you didn't fertilize in April do so during May. Aerating the lawn will allow water and fertilizer applied to penetrate deeper into the lawn soil and reduce the need for watering during the coming summer months. Use a garden fork and punch holes over the surface of your lawn or an aerating machine rented from your local equipment rental store. If you apply a weed & feed type fertilizer, make sure you get the right type. Centipede and St. Augustine lawns require a specialty weed and feed that contains Atrazine weed killer. If you are planning on overseeding your Centipede or Bermuda lawn within the next 8 weeks, do not use a weed and feed fertilizer. Click on your grass type for fertilization instructions: Bermuda / Centipede / St. Augustine / Zoysia

SEE: DIY Lawn Fertilization & Weed Prevention Programs

Feed cool season lawns - If you have a fescue or bluegrass lawn and did not fertilize it in April do so in the first half of May. If you have an irrigation system you can use a fertilizer higher in nitrogen (the first number in fertilizer). If not, to avoid burning the lawn, make sure to use a slow-release type fertilizer. If you have recently overseeded a starter fertilizer can be applied to help build a stronger root system before summer arrives.

Apply pelletized lime to lawns - If you have had trouble growing a healthy and beautiful bermuda, bluegrass, fescue or zoysia lawn it could have to do with the pH of the soil. Bermuda, bluegrass, fescue or zoysia lawn grasses thrive in soil with a neutral pH between 6.5 and 7. When the pH is acid (between 4.5 and 6.5) the root systems of these types of grasses cannot uptake nutrients and the grass will suffer. Application of lime can be applied to adjust the pH.

SEE: What is soil pH and how to adjust it.

Feed shrubs and trees - If you didn't fertilizer shrubs and trees do so during April using a well-balanced shrub and tree type fertilizer or an organic plant food. Azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, gardenias and other acid-loving shrubs can be fed with an acid-loving plant food which usually contains iron and/or sulfur and other nutrients and minerals that provide deep greening. Be sure to water the fertilizer in thoroughly after application.

Feed perennial plants - Fertilize perennials with a well-balanced flower fertilizer or natural or organic plant food. Consult with your local nursery and garden center professional when in doubt as to what type of fertilizer a specific perennial plant might need.

Feed roses - Fertilize roses every 6 weeks or so with a well-balanced rose fertilizer or organic plant food.

Mulch around plants and trees - With summer on the way, May is a good time to get an extra coat of pine straw or shredded wood mulch on the ground. Mulch not only helps to suppress weeds and make the landscape more attractive it also helps to retain moisture in the soil during the hotter months of summer. Mulch should be applied no thicker than 1.5 to 2 inches and should not be placed directly against the trunks of trees or shrubs.

SEE: About various types of mulch and their benefits and uses




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