May is a month that brings complete uncertainty and the utter scrambling of our emotions as winter loses its battle to the sunshine of spring. The apple trees are blooming and the aroma of lilac and honeysuckle delight our senses, reminding us that this Wyoming of ours is the most beautiful place on earth during the summer. You find yourself dreaming in green colors again instead of the dim grays that have almost permanently impressed themselves upon the way that you view the city. Every single May I find myself shocked yet again by the beauty of life springing up from the ground, although I shouldn’t be since the calendar clearly states that May has come and with it SPRING! We have been preparing our landscapes for this grand spring event since March, and we are now ready to embrace the life that comes with Wyoming spring, so let it come. That being said, be sure to stick to your plan no matter what weather this month brings.
1. The blooms will get frosted off our apple or lilac trees somewhere in the city. It is unavoidable. Do not be alarmed, just be sure to keep your garden covered every single night until after Mother’s Day and don’t plant anything tender before then, unless you plan to cover it.
2. Plant your garden no later than May 15th. Of course you can do it later in the season if you buy bigger plants. The point is this: you need all the days of the Wyoming growing season that are available, so take a day off work (if needed) to plant so that the harvest will come before the fall frostings.
3. The fungus diseases are in full swing during May so get the water schedule set, but monitor it closely. The wild temperature fluctuations of May give perfect opportunity for lawn fungus, leaf fungus (outside the plant), and vascular tissue fungus (inside the plant). Fungal pathogens (seeds of fungus) thrive during May and June. Fungus attacks occur when plants are under stress, and your plants are working really hard right now trying to grow and bloom, so don’t let them get drought stressed. Water well, but don’t over-water because this moisture can promote fungus. NO WATERING the lawn at night. The grass blades need to be dry during the night so fungus can’t attack them during the night when temperatures are favorable to fungal growth. Water early in the morning so the sunlight (which typically destroys fungus) can dry out the grass blades quickly. If you suspect fungus, treat it quickly because the damage is devastating if left unchecked.
Begin now by putting some additional work into your landscape to help things get established and then you can spend the rest of the summer enjoying the fruits of your labor.