Monday, June 24, 2024

May will soon be here

by ELAINE CERNY/My Garden Path
| April 16, 2023 1:00 AM

Yes, May is almost here … finally! I'm sure no one is unhappy about that.

Don't get in a big hurry with all that pruning. It's still a bit too early for most of it. For example, early blooming clematis. You need to wait on these until after they bloom and then it's OK to cut them back.

Once your yard dries out, it will be time to aerate it. This will loosen up the soil and give those grass roots the message that it's time to grow. You'll want to apply some lawn fertilizer soon too.

With today being mid-April, be sure you have those hummingbird feeders filled and hung out. If they're not already here, they will be very soon.

Yes, it's finally time to trim back those rose bushes. As you know, pruning a plant tells it to produce some tender new growth. If you do this too early, this growth may get hit hard with cold and it could kill the plant. The end of April is usually safe, but it never hurts to check those forecasts.

The best roses to plant for our area are those "grown on their own roots." Otherwise you need to be careful to place that graft (the bump where the roots and top are connected) a couple of inches below ground level. If you skip this step, you will probably get only small dark red flowers when the plant blooms. When this happens, you know that the grafted top has been winter killed.

If you haven't already done so, now is a good time to trim back those hardy perennials. Dig them up and divide them if they've outgrown their space. Replant some if you want to and find a new home for the rest.

Pruning season for trees and bushes is about over for now. Remember, it's OK to prune these as long as they are not leafing out or dropping leaves. The rest of the time is fine.

One of the earliest bloomers in our area is the forsythia. Their yellow flowers are a very welcome sight about now.

Reminder: Do you know why the hummingbirds sing? (It's probably because they forgot the words.)

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Elaine Cerny has gardened most of her life, starting in 4-H. She has belonged to garden clubs in three states and is currently an active member of the River City Gardeners Club in Post Falls. Her column has appeared in The Press every other Sunday from early March until late October for the past 15 years.


Elaine Cerny