ornamental pepperby Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent

May in Northwest Florida is usually a dry month with warmer temperatures. Good water management becomes increasingly important in our lawns, landscapes and gardens to help carry plants through dryer conditions. Remember that an irrigation system is a tool to supplement rainfall. An irrigation system should be used on an as-needed basis. Generally, plants need three quarters to one inch of water per week when they are actively growing. If you plant new plants, make sure you apply the water directly to the root ball. New plants don’t have roots out in the surrounding soil and the root ball can dry out quickly. Consider using microirrigation or a soaker hose for more efficient watering. Newly-planted specimens are especially susceptible to succumbing to heat and drought-related stress and will require more frequent watering. Below is taken from the UF/IFAS Extension North Florida Gardening Calendar.

Annuals: Plants that can take summer heat include salvia, angelonia, wax begonia and ornamental pepper. See: Gardening with Annuals in Florida

Bulbs: Planting early-, mid- and late-blooming varieties of daylily ensures months of color from these low-maintenance plants. See: Bulbs for Florida

Herbs: Continue to plant heat-loving herbs, including basil, oregano, sage, Mexican tarragon and rosemary. See: Herbs in the Florida Garden

Vegetables: Southern favorites to plant now are okra, southern pea and sweet potato. See: Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide

Pests: Watch for thrips, scale and mites on ornamental plants because they become more active in warm weather. See: Ornamental Insects Sheet 1 and Ornamental Insects Sheet 2

Lawn insects: Watch for damage from chinch bugs in St. Augustinegrass and begin scouting for newly hatched mole crickets in lawns. See: Turfgrass Pest Insects

Tomatoes: Watch for pests, disease and nutritional disorders on tomato plants. See: Tomatoes in the Florida Garden

Lawns: If not done last month, apply a fertilizer (not a “weed and feed”) without phosphorus unless a soil test indicates the need for it. A fertilizer containing controlled-release nitrogen yields longer-lasting results. See: Home Lawns

Trees: Prepare for hurricane season by checking trees for damaged or weak branches and pruning if needed. Hire an ISA-certified arborist. See: International Society of Arboriculture, Developing a Preventative Pruning Program: Young Trees  and Developing a Preventative Pruning Program: Mature Trees

Lawn pests: Discourage insects, weeds and disease by mowing correctly. See: Mowing Your Florida Lawn

This entry was posted in Annuals, Best Management Practices, Bulbs, Extension, Extension Articles, Fertilizing, General Gardening, Irrigation, Larry Williams' Articles, Lawns, Perennials, Seasonal, Temperature, Tomato, Trees and shrubs, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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