May Gardening Tips

May is one of our favorite months.  All the work we put into getting plants fed, nurtured and ready to go home with you really starts to show.  Plus, around mid-month you get the green light for planting all the veggies and annuals your heart desires–with a few exceptions below.

Hanging Baskets Are Ready

Johnson Brothers famous hanging baskets are in stock and ready to bring instant color to your yard or deck. Before you take them home, there are few extra things to keep in mind.  Keep them out of any potential frost areas and don’t over water them.

Check out our tips for getting your hanging basket home safely, what food to give them, watering tips and more

What to Plant in May

As mentioned in April, avoid re-using the soil in your container garden. Instead, throw it into a garden area, place 2-3 inches of compost or other soil amendment and then till it in.

Edibles to plant by seed or transplant

  • Snap beans and Lima beans
  • Eggplant (too late for seed, purchase starts)
  • Pickling cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Peppers (too late for seed, purchase starts)
  • Tomatoes (too late for seed, purchase starts)
  • Melons
  • Pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, zucchini

Just about any edible plant right now can go in the ground.  So make your list and head out to Johnson Brothers where you will find one of the largest varieties and selections of fresh, locally grown vegetable starts in Eugene-Springfield.

Garden Pests Arriving

Gardeners will always struggle to control the pests that like their crops. And there are often no quick fixes or magic solutions. However, you can take steps to make your garden a less inviting target without chemical means first.

These strategies are what most experts agree work best to make your garden the least attractive to pests or disease:

  • Healthy Soil: Proper pH, nutrient levels and the presence of organic material is an excellent start towards having a strong defense.
  • Identify Your Enemy:  Friendly insects dominate, but enemies still invade. Look for the chief culprits aphids, leafhoppers, caterpillars and various beetles and worms.
  • Enlist Friends:  Birds, bees, spiders, ladybugs, green lacewings, predator mites, nematodes and more will gladly fight for you. Set up a birdbath and feeder along with flowers that produce nectar. You will have friends for life.
  • Other friends:  Companion plantings work well together because one plant will repel pests from the other. An example is having onions and sage together next to carrots to repel flies.  Marigold, garlic, lovage and catnip are other great pest repellants.
  • Plant Rotations:  We all have our favorites, but try moving plants around this year. Even just 10 feet. Pests tend to lay eggs in soil, so when the eggs hatch and cannot find their food, they die off.

For natural insecticides keep Fertilome’s Triple Action Plus on hand to clean up most insects including aphids, mites, white fly and various other pests.  Johnson Brothers carries a supply of organic and traditional pest controls, fungicides and fertilizers for all your plant needs.

Garden Jobs in May

  • Reminder: Resist the urge to use garden soil as a substitute for potting soil in your container gardens.
  • Grow a “pesto pot” in a sunny spot. Fill the pot with different types and colors of basil and enjoy it all season! Dry or freeze any basil you have left over.
  • Heavy, exuberant climbers need strong supports. Be sure your trellis or arbor is heavy duty and able to support the weight of the fast-growing, heavy branches.
  • Prune your hedges so they are slightly wider at the bottom than at the top. This allows sunlight to reach the bottom leaves, preventing the loss of the lower leaves.