in the garden: may

UPDATE: This post has been updated with 2017 current information and photos. You can find the revised post here. Thank you!

tips for tuesday
notes from maggie's farm

This is the month that all your hard work begins to pay off.  We've had dinners of spring greens, and green garlic, and sweet peas with caramelized onions.  We've snacked on every cabbage imaginable, and sauerkraut is this weekend's project.  Looks as if tomatoes and peppers and squash will be showing up on our table this month, so we'll add homemade pasta to the farmers market shopping list, and making mayonnaise, pestos, fresh french bread and herbed focaccias will be the order of the day for our weekly kitchen tasks.  

It's going to get awfully sunny and steamy around these parts, every day, really soon.  Shake out your swimsuit, air out the lawn chairs, bust out the sprinklers, unearth your straw hat.....Summer's right around the corner!

Your May gardening to-do list, courtesy of KLRU's Central Texas Gardener--

Collect seeds from spring flowers when the seed heads are brown. Clean them, dry them for a week or so, and then store in airtight containers or baggies in a cool spot.

Continue planting summer annuals like celosias, cosmos, pentas, angelonia, sunflowers, globe amaranths, and zinnias to attract butterflies and bees this summer. Pentas and Salvia coccineas brighten up partly shady areas and attract butterflies.

Lightly prune spring blooming plants to clean them up. Don’t do heavy pruning at this time.

Put out shallow bowls of water to attract toads. Small dishes filled with decomposed granite make good puddling spots for butterflies. Make your own hummingbird nectar for feeders with 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Dissolve well. Be sure to change and clean your feeders on a regular basis.
Do clean birdbaths and other water bowls every few days to fend off mosquitoes and to keep the water cool and clean for your wildlife friends.

If fire ants are a problem, use fresh spinosad-based bait and an orange oil drench directly on the mounds.

Fertilize: Feed all spring-blooming shrubs after they have bloomed. Feed amaryllis after they bloom. Feed and mulch iris. Feed crape myrtle with 1/2 cup/sq. yd. of 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer beneath the branch spread.

Water: Water annuals as needed. Mulch all bare soil to retain moisture.

Transplant: Container-grown plants can go into the ground now.

Lawn Care: Mow every 5-7 days, leaving the clippings on the lawn. Keep St. Augustine grass at 2 1/2" to 3" height. Apply 1/2’ to 1" of water as needed to wet soil thoroughly. Don’t water more often than every five days.

Diseases/Pests to look out for: Check for aphids and spider mites. Look for tobacco hornworms, spider mites and stink bugs, especially in vegetable gardens. Spray peach and plum trees for curculio weevils. Spray blackspot-susceptible roses with fungicide every 7-10 days.

Prune: Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees after they bloom. Prune climbing roses and other "once bloomers" as soon as they finish flowering. Divide chrysanthemums and pinch tips for bushier growth. Pinch back leggy annuals to encourage branching. Deadhead plants to encourage blooming. Prune frost-damaged trees and shrubs. Remove sucker shoots from tomato plants to get earlier, larger fruit.

Things To Plant In May:

Flower Plants:
Ageratum,  ajuga, amaranthus, balsam, begonia, blue dze, blue cardinal flower, boltonio, scarlet bouvardia, calico plant, chocolate plant, cigar plant, cockscomb, coleus, columbine, copper plant, coreopsis, cosmos, dahlia, daisy, feverfew, geranium, gomphrena, hibiscus, hollyhock, impatiens, jacobinia, lantana, marigold, nierembergia, penta, periwinkle, persian shield, plumbago, phlox, portulaca, purslane, purple coneflower ,rudbeckia, salvia, sedum, stokes' aster, sunflower, wishbone flower, yarrow, zinnia.

Flower Seeds:
Ageratum, balsam, castor bean, celosia, cleome, cockscomb, coleus, coral vine, cosmos, cypress vine, dahlia, echinacea, feverfew, four-o'clock, globe amaranth, gourd, impatiens, linaria, nasturtium marigold, moonflower, morning glory, periwinkle, petunia, pinks, portulaca, scabiosa, sinflower, sweet pea, tithonia, torenia, vinca, zinnia.

Acidanthera, amarcrinum, amaryllis, caladium, canna, giner, daylily, gladiolus, liriope, monkey grass, neomarica

Amaranth, Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke), Jicama, Malabar Spinach, Okra, Southern Pea, Peanut, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Tomatillo, Watermelon.

Anise, basil, bay, borage, bouncing bet, caraway, catnip, chives, comfrey, costmary, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, scented geranium, germander, horehound, horseradish, lamb's ear, lavender, lemon grass, lemon verbena, mexican mint marigold, monarda, oregano, perilla, rosemary, sage, santolina, summer savory, winter savory, sesame, sorrel, southernwood, tansy, tarragon, thyme, wormwood, yarrow

Container-grown plants can go in the ground.

Courtesy of the Garden Guide for Austin &Vicinity, published by the Travis County Master Gardener Association, copyright 2000-2002.

This post featured at


  1. Very informative post. Coming from NaBloPoMo to see your post

    1. Bindhurani, Thank you for stopping by. I was just wondering if particpating in these NaBloPoMo's was worth the time for me, because I find that cooking and farming are outside of what seems to be popular, and I wasn't even sure that I was being seen. I guess I got my answer! lol. Thank you for your support.

  2. I'm from NaBloPoMo and I post about gardening too! But I'm new at this blogging thing. I like your site, clearly I have a lot of work to do to make my site as visually appealing as yours!

    1. Hi Susan! Thank you for dropping by, and for your encouragement. I've been blogging for about a year, so what you're seeing is the culmination of months of work. You will get there, I promise! (But if there is anything I can help you with, please don't hesitate to ask.)

  3. Great post! I'm still trying to get some annuals in before the summer heat. I'm loving this rain! So wonderful:)

    1. This rain is amazing! As soon as it stops, I've got some powerful weeding I'm not complaining!! Forecast calls for a milder summer, and I'm hoping that means annuals lasting throughout the summer days.

  4. How fitting that I'm sitting outside on my patio while reading this patio! Have to enjoy this not so hot day finally! They will be few & far between for awhile. :)

    1. Oh you are so right---they promise a mild summer, but mild to me is a day like today, EVERday. lol. Hope you're having a blissful afternoon. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Your garden sounds fabulous! Loving all those projects you have planned. And amen to busting out the sprinklers and lawn chairs. I may even have to buy a kiddie pool to soak in this summer- with the extra belly, it's going to feel even more steamy! Hope your veggies are soaking up all this glorious rain we've been getting.

    1. The veggies, and the darned, are going gangbusters. Now if it would slow down long enough for me to get everything harvested and weeded, but I'm NOT COMPLAINING (rain gods can be so temperamental!). Thanks for stopping by, preggo friend. ; }

  6. Your site is one of my favorites I have found through NaBloPoMO..I am living vicariously in your garden and farm since I live in the city. I have a hummingbird feeder, and buy food and clean the thing and NEVER seen one..Maybe they aren't up north? I saw one in NM when I visited and in TX so I had to try up here, but nothing. I have great luck with regular bird baths and feeding regular birds (and squirrels..ha..). Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Winnie,
      You DOLL. Thank you so much for your kind words. Red and purple flowers seem to attract hummingbirds, and I started seeing more activity after I planted lavender in my windowboxes. I wonder if they ARE more prevalant in the South?

      Can anyone enlighten us about that, readers?


Thank you for visiting Notes from Maggie's Farm. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...