Monday, May 7, 2012

Garden Seeds // May Garden Checklist

The beginning of each month is a good time to create a checklist for your garden.  Here are some priorities to include for May:

  • Adjust your irrigation timers for hotter weather.   It is best to water in the early morning or late evening.  Always water deeply and less frequently to give those roots a nice drink.  For a complete watering guide, download this excellent  resource:  Landscape Watering by the Numbers:
Suspended shade structure over tomatoes last summer
  • Shade your tomatoes and peppers using a 30 or 50% shade cloth.  This will prolong their productivity into June-July.
  • Add mulch or compost to your vegetable garden to help retain moisture in the soil.
  • Move potted plants into partial shade.  Full Arizona sun in the summer is stressful on most non desert-adapted plants.  As a result, I like to rearrange my pots in May to give them a little protection.  Remember, pots also dry out quickly.  Group them together if you are hand watering to decrease your watering time.
  • Stock up on sunscreen and big hats to protect your skin while gardening in the hot sun.  Especially your hands!  I was recently reminded by a dermatologist that sun spots often occur on the hands because people forget to apply sunscreen to them.   
May planting includes:

Edibles: Armenian cucumbers (most tolerant variety for heat), black eyed peas, melons, basil, okra, sweet potatoes and sunflowers

Hibiscus Sabdariffa

Flowers:  Cosmos, zinnias, some amaranths, balsam, hibiscus sabdariffa, mexican sunflower, vinca and portulaca.  Last year was the first time I grew hibiscus sabdariffa - it is a gorgeous shrub!

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