May Gardening in Ohio

hydraFinally our days and nights start to get a little warmer in May. The spring colors are in full bloom and this is the month that true flower gardening begins in Ohio.

If you did not aerate in the fall, you will need to do so now. Mow your grass high at about 2.5-3.5 inches. It is really too late to plant grass seed but is the perfect time for sod. Keep sod watered the first couple of weeks. Existing lawns need 1 inch of water per week. For light feeding and Broadleaf control, use a weed and feed product some time during the month.

Your garden center will fill up with perennials in May! 1-2 gallon pots are more expensive than the 2-4 inch ones but you will never be able tell the difference next season. Be sure to purchase healthy plants that are not wilted, yellow, or have thin-lanky stems. Stay away from foliage that has holes, dark blotches, or tiny pale or dark spots on them. Check out the plant label and follow the recommendation. No matter how healthy a plant you purchase, it will not thrive unless it is happy where it is planted. Perennials can be planted in your flower beds or in pots and containers.  May is an excellent time to plant roses so don’t forget them when visiting your favorite garden store.

If your existing perennials get too large for their space, May is a great time to divide them and replant in another location or give to a neighbor.

  • Dig under roots and lift plant from soil.
  • Use a sharp knife, spade, or other sharp tool to cut through clumps to make rooted chunks of the plant.
  • Remove any thin or dead parts of the plant.
  • Replant 1 chunk in the original position and plant the others elsewhere in your yard or put in a pretty container and give as a gift.
  • Water newly planted plants well at planting time and check again in 4-5 days if no rain.

Some spring pruning will be needed in May. Removing faded flowers makes your bed look better and sends the energy of the plant down to its roots. Use shears to clip off the spent flowers of Candytuft, Pinks and Phlox. You may see ants on your Peony buds; this is completely normal as they love the sweet fluids of the buds. Your Bleeding Heart, Poppies and Virginia Bluebells will disappear after blooming.  Don’t be concerned, they will be back next year.

Make sure to prune and shape spring-flowering bushes and trees immediately after the blooms have faded. Many set buds now for next year and late pruning will cut these buds off and reduce the number of flowers for next year.

May is the month that my yard looks its best. The grass is so healthy and green and is a perfect backdrop to my purple Phlox and red and white Tulips. Adding to the color (and worth) of our property and also blooming this month is my Redbud, Dogwood and Southern Magnolia trees. I love May in Ohio!

About the Author: Sheri Miller is the Owner of Another You, LLC, a Business Concierge/Personal Assistant service in the Dayton, Ohio area. Sheri helps small business owners save time and money by taking care of their day-to-day administrative tasks. Think of her as your right hand while your left hand is growing your business. 937-416-2207

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