Home and gardening tips from Purdue University
HOME (Indoor plants and activities)
Many indoor plants can be moved to shady locations outdoors but only
after danger of frost is past. Plants will dry out more often
outdoors, so keep a close eye on soil moisture. Sinking the pots in
soil will help slow down moisture loss.
Now is a good time to take cuttings of houseplants to increase a
collection or share with friends. Root cuttings in media such as
vermiculite, perlite or potting soil. Roots grown in water tend to be
weak from lack of oxygen and do not adjust well to planting in soil.
Fertilize houseplants according to label directions. Foliage plants
require relatively high nitrogen fertilizer; flowering houseplants
respond best to fertilizer high in phosphorus.
YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits)
Prune early spring-flowering trees and shrubs after flowers fade.
Plant balled-and-burlapped or container nursery stock, and water
Remove and destroy overwintering bagworms from landscape trees and
Follow a spray schedule to keep home-orchard crops pest free. While
trees are in bloom, use fungicide sprays without insecticide to avoid
injury to bees. Follow label directions.
Thin fruits of apple trees, if needed, about three weeks after petal
fall. Apples should be about 8 inches apart.
Apply fungicides to roses to control diseases such as black spot.
Apply herbicide to control broadleaf weeds in the lawn if they are a
problem, but be cautious around garden plants to prevent spray drift.
Never spray on a windy day.
Purdue turf experts recommend that if you are going to fertilize your
lawn in May, apply three-fourths to 1 pound N/1000 square foot with a
product that contains 50 percent or more slow-release fertilizer. Try
to schedule the application prior to a rain or irrigate following
application to move the fertilizers off the leaf blade.
GARDEN (Vegetables, small fruits and flowers)
Plant frost-tender plants after danger of frost is past for your
area. This includes warm-season vegetables, such as tomatoes,
peppers, eggplant and vine crops, as well as most annual flowers and
tender perennials, such as cannas, gladiolus, dahlias, tuberous
begonias and caladiums.
Pinch chrysanthemums and annual flower plants to keep them compact
Make successive plantings of beans and sweet corn to extend the
season of harvest.
Thin seedlings of early-planted crops, such as carrots, lettuce,
spinach and beets, to their proper spacing.
Harvest early plantings of radishes, spinach and lettuce.
Harvest asparagus by cutting or snapping spears at or just below soil
Harvest rhubarb by cutting, or grasp the stalk and pull it up and
slightly to one side.
Control cucumber beetles, carriers of bacterial wilt, as soon as
cucumber plants germinate or are transplanted to prevent disease.
Remove blossoms from newly set strawberry plants to allow better
Remove unwanted sucker growth in raspberries when new shoots are
about a foot tall.