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plants

MAY

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 thoroughly.

Remove and destroy overwintering bagworms from landscape trees and shrubs.

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 and
well-branched.

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 level.

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 runner
formation.

Remove unwanted sucker growth in raspberries when new shoots are about a foot
tall.

4-15-04

Agricultural Communication Columns Web site:

http://www.agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/news/currnews.html

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