The weather is finally warming up! The chance of frost has now past, and daytime temperatures are routinely in the 70s, making it the perfect time to enjoy your garden. As you enjoy your garden, keep an eye out for the gophers and moles that have been popping up in landscapes throughout the Bay Area. May is also when aphids are most active, so be sure to read about what you can do to maintain your garden below:
Pesky Pests: Aphids, snails and slugs continue to be a major problems in the landscape. Check your new plants daily as snails and slugs can destroy Small plants in one night. Look for honey dew, curling leaves and ants as these are all signs of possible aphid infestation. Watch plums and cherries closely and if you spot curling leaves check for aphid immediately. Remember Peach leaf curl disease rarely effects any plants other than peaches and nectarines. Treat aphids with an insecticidal soap to avoid any pesticide residue on your fruit. Birds can also become pests as your fruit ripens, protect your crop with tree nets to keep the birds out.
Plant These Lil’ Pals: The time is right to plant asters, coleus, daisies, impatiens, marigolds, petunias, verbena, and Zinnias.
Fertilize ’em! Fertilize your azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, citrus and roses. Mulch around lilies, azaleas, camellias, clamantis and citrus to keep soil temperatures low and conserve water.
What to Prune: Thin apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums if too much fruit has set. A general rule of thumb is one piece of fruit every six to eight inches. Apricots should be thinned to three to six inches apart. Fruit thinning should be done before your fruit reaches cherry size. Remove old fading flowers on your annuals and cut your roses back to pencil sized Wood to promote continued blooming.
Lawn Care! Temperatures are increasing and the days are getting longer, so the lawns will require more water. Set your lawnmower to three and one half inches for tall fescue(3%), two and one half inches (2%) for blue and rye grass and bentgrass and bermuda grass lawns should be kept at one to one half inches (1/s), to help reduce soil temperatures and promote deeper rooting. Aerate lawns (if it was not done last month) to increase water penetration into the soil. Aeration brings thatch eating microbes to the soil surface so please do not rake the soil cores away, instead allow the cores to break down and the soil to filter back down into the thatch.