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Reap what you sow!


So much to do in the May garden!  If you aren’t regularly in the garden don’t overdo it and end up at the chiropractor office!

  • Weed  Do it now while the soil is still moist from recent rains.  If you have limited time, focus on weeds near the base of plants and weeds that are flowering or about to drop their seeds.  Do a little everyday or once a week during this high season.
  • Squash slugs and snails by handpicking them or applying slug bait.  I personally enjoy crushing them in my gloved hand...what could this possibly mean?
  • Check and repair drip irrigation  Make sure to turn on system in the next few weeks if there isn’t any more rain and change out batteries before you go on vacation.
  • Roses  Spray off soft-bodied aphids with a spray of water or remove by hand, remove interior and wayward growth to allow for good air circulation and remove any diseased leaves on the plant or soil surface (black spot, rust.)  This is a good time to add fertilizer if the plant needs it.
  • Shape or prune evergreen shrubs, hedges and vines  Bring down height and width of plants if needed, remove dead wood or awkward branches.
  • Shape or prune azaleas and camellias and other late winter/early spring bloomers - after they finish blooming
  • Plant summer flowering plants like agastache, cosmo, marigold, petunia, penstemon, sunflower, yarrow and zinnia.  Alstroemeria, dahlias can be planted now as well.
  • Fertilize plants  Especially citrus, roses, camelias, azaleas.  Go to your local nursery like Evergreen Nursery and look for a fertilizer formulated for specific plants.  For example, citrus plants need extra iron and nitrogen in their fertilizer.  
  • Mulch around plants  Especially in sunny spots to to retain moisture and provide a clean look.

Vegetable and Fruit Garden

  • Plant or sow seeds for beans, corn, cucumber, pumpkin, squash
  • Plant tomatoes, peppers and eggplant
  • Salad seeds can be sown while it is still not too hot (above 75 degrees) or plant in the shady shelter of larger plants.
  • Plant herbs like parsley, cilantro, marjorum, oregano, thyme, rosemary
  • Thin fruit trees like apples, pears, nectarines once dime-sized to one fruit every four to six inches.  Thinning produces larger, better fruit and will prevent branches from breaking once fruits reach maturity.  

If you are a novice gardener, check out the Alameda County Master Gardener site:


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