First week in May:
ü Prune your spring flowering shrubs (lilacs, forsythias, spireas, etc.) after they have finished blooming. Thin these out by removing up to one-third of the older branches at or near ground level.
ü Plant vegetables such as snap beans, tomato plants, sweet corn, summer squash, cucumbers and a second crop of radishes.
ü Check your trees, especially wild cherry, for tent caterpillars: remove and destroy tents.
ü Continue your fruit tree spray schedule to control disease and pest problems.
ü Keep newly planted trees and shrubs watered (unless it’s a rainy month). Do not let the soil dry out.
ü Plant gladiolus, dahlias and other summer bulbs.
ü Stay out of your garden when plant foliage is wet. Walking through a wet garden spreads disease from one plant to another.
ü If you are having a problem with earwigs and sow bugs, try trapping them with rolled-up newspapers that have been moistened with water. The insects will hide in the paper by day. Gather up the traps and dispose of them frequently.
ü Spray roses regularly (every ten days using a fungicide and insecticide). Read and follow all label directions.
ü Closely examine your ornamental plantings for disease and pests. Check your dogwoods for borers; boxwood, holly and birch for leafminers; evergreens for spider mites and aphids.
ü Mulch flowers, established vegetables and evergreen shrubs. Grass clippings are great and easier to handle if allowed to dry first. Never use clippings from a lawn that has been treated with an herbicide.
ü Move your houseplants outdoors when night temperatures stay above 50 deg. Avoid sunburn by moving the plants gradually from the relative darkness of the house to their bright summer locations. Begin by putting them in a well-shaded location and progress to increasingly lighted areas.
ü Pinch annuals when 4-6 in. high to promote bushy growth, for example, zinnias, petunias and salvia.