Things are finally starting to look like something. I have Roses, Peonies and Clematis in bloom in my front yard right now and it’s fun to really see things starting to fill in for the season. I have some new roses that I hadn’t seen bloom yet and am really excited about the Peonies shown here. May is an extremely busy month in the garden and there are lots of considerations to take into account. This is an ideal time to get plants in the ground; especially in Central Kentucky with all of the rain that we’ve had in the last two weeks. Here is a list of the main maintenance needs to consider for this month. Once again I have to give credit to Tracy DiSabato Aust for all of the experience that she has put into her wonderful book The Well-Tended Perennial Garden.
1. Not only is it the time to plant its the time to transplant as well. If you have anything that you need to move or divide go ahead and do it now. If the perennial you want to divide is in bloom right now then wait till it has finished and then transplant. Make sure to mix some compost into the hole and dig you’re hole twice the size of what you are planting. The loose soil will make it easier for the roots to establish. If you need to cut the plants back to make them easier to move around don’t worry about that being a problem.
2. If you top dress with compost and haven’t done this yet go ahead now. Make sure you don’t put down more than 1/2 inch of compost. Too much mulch or compost up against the plant will do more harm than good.
3. Weed, weed, weed. Especially with all of the rain that we’ve had I feel like that’s all I’ve been doing the last two weeks.
4. Look for insects that are starting to feast on your plants. Aphids and slugs have started to appear and need to be taken care of before they get out of control.
5. Deadheading can be done on plants that have finished their flowering.
If you have a particular plant that you don’t know what to do with let me know and I will be happy to offer up specific advice.