Let’s Get Gardening: May 2017

Well, the weather lately has been living up to its reputation in Michigan – unpredictable! We had fabulous, warm, sunny, weather for a little bit, sandwiched in between some chilly (ok – cold) wet stuff. It may not seem like it now, but the weather gurus are saying that this May will be warmer and dryer than normal. Don’t get too comfortable with that though – they are also saying that it will be cooler and wetter in June, while July and August are predicted to be pretty close to normal. What does all this mean to us? Well, if things warm up quickly, we may be able to get some of our warm-weather loving plants into our gardens a little earlier than normal. However, if June is cooler and wetter, you can be sure that we will be battling diseases like powdery mildew, early blight, and fusarium wilt. Keep your fungicides handy!


In this issue:

Vegetables & Herbs

  • Wait until the weather has warmed up a little bit before planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, squashes, and most herbs
  • Don’t wait too much longer to plant onions, potatoes, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, and kale
  • Why you should grow your own potatoes
  • What seeds to plant this month


  • Plant most annuals in the ground about the same time you plant warm-weather vegetables
  • Plant most of your perennials now
  • Adding mulch and compost to flower beds after the soil has warmed up

Trees & Shrubs

  • When to prune your shrubs
  • Now is the best time to prune your trees
  • Plant trees and shrubs now to give them a chance to get acclimated before summer heat sets in
  • What you need to know when planting trees or shrubs


  • Recommended grass length and benefits of mowing higher
  • Soil testing and fertilizing for healthy grass


  • Hummingbirds are back! Make sure to keep your feeders cleaned and filled
  • What you should offer orioles upon their arrival
  • You can keep feeding birds throughout the spring and summer
  • It’s not too late to put up bird houses
  • Clean out and refill birdbaths regularly, especially as it starts to really warm up

Store News & Specials

  • Hanging baskets, patio pots, bedding plants, and vegetable and herb seedlings are in!
  • It’s time for The Garden Mill’s 4th Annual Pottery Sale, up to 50% off ceramic, metal, concrete and stone planters through 5/31
  • Don’t miss the 19th Annual Chelsea Area Garden Club Plant Sale, 8 a.m. – Noon on Saturday, May 6th
  • The Chelsea Evening Primrose Garden Club (EPGC) 13th Annual Huge Garage Sale, May 13th 8 a.m- 4 p.m.
  • $10 off $50 purchase coupon

Read the May 2017 issue of Let’s Get Gardening

Remember to regularly visit The Garden Mill’s website and follow us on Facebook ( for our latest gardening and birding tips, as well as seasonal specials and fun stuff going on at the store.