Green Tips for the Month of May

New warm-season lawngrasses from sod, seed, plugs or by hydromulching.
This is the best month to get new turf started.

Trees, shrubs and other woody plants. Nurseries are well-stocked. Many will have sales this month, so watch for good values.

Warm-season and tropical annuals to replace spent winter color plants. Choose types that are well-suited to your available soil, climatic and lighting conditions.

Perennials from 6-inch and 1-gallon pots into highly amended garden soils.

Ornamental grasses as background plants for annual, perennial flower gardens. Hot-weather vegetable, including southern peas, okra and (sandy soil areas only) sweet potatoes.

Herbs into landscape, flower and vegetable gardens, also containers. Many are attractive as well as edible.

Repot overgrown houseplants into next larger pot size. Use quality potting soil. Give plants bright indirect light outdoors.

Spring-flowering shrubs and vines very early in month, to re-shape before bulk of this season's growth.

Evergreen shrubs to remove lanky, irregular spring growth.
Pinch growing tips out of Mexican bush sage, mums, fall asters, copper plants, coleus, blackberries, to keep plants compact.

Remove flowers from lamb's ear, coleus, caladiums, santolina, dusty miller, to keep plants vegetative.

Thin peaches and plums so that remaining fruit will be 5 to 6 inches apart.

Remove lowest limbs from shade trees if grass is thinning due to lack of sunlight

Mow frequently and at recommended height to keep grass low, dense.

Lawngrass, if you have not yet done so, with high-nitrogen or all-nitrogen fertilizer.

Same high-nitrogen, lawn-type food for trees, shrubs, flowers and even vegetables.

Add iron and sulfur soil-acidifier to correct iron chlorosis (yellowed leaves with dark green veins, most visible on newest growth). Keep iron off any surface that could be stained

Container plants with dilute mix of complete-and-balanced, water-soluble 20-20-20 or similar fertilizer with each watering.

Powdery mildew on crape myrtles, euonymus, photinias, zinnias and others. Treat with general-purpose fungicide.

Photinias and Indian hawthorns for the quickly fatal Entomosporium fungal leaf spot. Treat with general-purpose fungicide. Rake or blow fallen leaves from under plants to reduce spread of spores.

Early blight, causing lower leaves of tomatoes to turn yellow in large blotches. Will progress up plants' stems until weather turns hot, dry. Apply general-purpose fungicide.

Peach leaf curl causes waffling of peach foliage. No control at this time. Apply fixed copper fungicide in November.

Pear-shaped aphids on new growth of many plants. General-purpose insecticide will control.

Thrips invade double flowers such as roses, althaeas and gardenias, causing them to abort or fail to open properly.

Leafrollers attack cannas, keeping their leaves from unfurling properly and flowers from opening. Also a problem with sweetgums, redbuds and pyracanthas, among others. Apply systemic insecticide before damage is severe.

Sawflies strip tissues from between veins of oak leaves. Use systemic insecticide at first observation.

Treat pecan casebearers with registered insecticide. Contact county Extension office for timing of the spray in your area.

Cabbage loopers and other caterpillars, including bagworms on conifers, with bacillus thuringiensis biological worm spray.

Control nutsedge in turf (Image or Manage-follow label directions implicitly).

Apply pre-emergent herbicide granules for second time late in month in South Texas for full season of control of crabgrass, grassburs and other warm-season annual grasses.

Wrap trunks of red oaks, Chinese pistachios and other new trees that are vulnerable to sunscald until they can develop full leaf canopies, bark. Wrap also protects against borer invasion.