May Landscaping Tasks

Spring has sprung in the landscape with the recent April showers. Lawns, shrubs, trees and weeds are growing.  It’s time to manage this growth and get into a good routine of yard care.

Lawn Care-

-If you haven’t already aerated your lawn, it’s never too late.  Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to enter the lawn more readily.  It also helps with compacted soil and helps promote a healthy lawn and healthy lawns have less weeds and problems.

-May is the time to apply Weed and Feed fertilizer to the lawn.  Weed and Feed fertilizers kill broad-leaf weeds such as dandelions and clover.  They should only be used when temperatures are below 80 degrees, as the broad-leaf killer can vaporize over 80 degrees and kill desirable plants. If you have a smaller amount of dandelions, manual removal may be the fastest way to treat them before they go to seed and spread. And that is the goal to remove weeds before they seed and create a bigger problem in the Fall!  Large amounts of broad-leaf weeds may require a liquid treatment that will address the problem in a more timely manner before they get out of control.

– It’s time to start mowing your lawn weekly to a length of 2.5”.  Mowing actually helps make your grass grow thicker, because the tip of the blade contains hormones that suppress horizontal growth. When you cut the lawn, you remove these tips allowing the grass to spread and grow thicker near the roots.  Have the blades sharpened on your lawn mower as well as a tune up for optimal performance.

-Your lawn takes less water in May than in the summer months.  Water in the early mornings only 2 to 3 times a week depending on temperatures to avoid disease and fungal problems.  

-Once daytime temperatures are in the 70’s, treat any fungal problems like summer patch or necrotic ring.

-If you have dealt with billbug larvae or other grubs in your lawn in the past, treat it now and monthly through July.

Vegetable and Flower Care

-Typically in Utah Valley, May 10th is the last freeze date.  That means we can plant annual flowers and vegetables by mid May.

-Before planting, incorporate compost into your beds along with a granular fertilizer to give your plants the nutrients they need for a good start.  

-Rotate your crops to avoid disease and pest problems.  Don’t plant the same plant in the same spot year after year.

-Weed prevention in May will avoid a full blown problem in the summer.  Preen is a great product in flower beds where more manual treatments like black plastic or grass clippings work well in vegetable gardens.  Remember the goal with weeds is to get them out before they seed and cause more problems later.

Tree and Shrub Care

-Spring is a great time to plant new trees and shrubs.  This allows them to have some root growth before the hot summer temperatures.  Follow your nursery’s instructions for a healthy establishment.

-Prune out any diseased or dead branches.  If you did not prune your shrubs in the Fall, prune them, but do not cut more than a third of the plant’s size at a time.

-Fertilizer spikes will give them the nutrients they need for the growing season.

Happy gardening from the Orem Beautification Commission and thanks for being good neighbors and doing your part in keeping Orem a beautiful place to live!


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