Let’s Get Gardening: May 2019

I don’t know about you, but I could really use some sunshine right about now. All this rain makes doing things in my yard very difficult – I can’t get the grass mowed, or plant some trees that I bought, because the ground is so waterlogged! It’s adding to the many tasks I have to do, since I was already behind in getting my early spring planting done for many reasons (time never seems to be on my side these days). I do see some light at the end of the tunnel, though – they are calling for some sunshine this weekend – hooray! And my trip to the grower’s Tuesday helped chase the clouds away for a little bit, too (the picture above is my car packed with flowers for the store – which you can see for yourself today!).


In this month’s issue of Let’s Get Gardening

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In this month’s issue:

May is when gardening season kicks into high gear. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener, there are lots of things to do around the yard at this time of year.

Flowers, Trees & Shrubs:

  • As the soil warms up, it’s time to put down new mulch in your flower beds and around your trees and shrubs. Use a garden fork to fluff old mulch to keep it from compacting – compacted mulch won’t allow water to reach the plant roots – then add new mulch, but not too much.
  • If you didn’t get the opportunity yet to divide summer-blooming perennials that are getting too big for their space or look like they are dying out in the middle, do that early in the month so they have time to get roots down before the summer heat really sets in. As I’ve mentioned before, the Garden Club is also happy to take donations of plants for their annual plant sale.

***Correction to last month’s newsletter*** Last month, I gave incorrect information about this year’s Chelsea Area Garden Club’s annual sale. The 21st Annual Plant Sale is on Saturday, May 11th. Don’t miss it – it’s a great way to get a whole variety of plants, and to help the community.

  • Most annual flowers should be planted out after all danger of frost has passed. If you plant annuals in containers before about mid-month, just be sure that they can be moved into a garage or covered up if frost is in the forecast.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs once they have finished flowering. If you prune things like lilacs now, you won’t get any blooms (or you will get far fewer) this year.
  • Plant new trees and shrubs early in the month, and be sure to water them regularly throughout the spring and summer. The MSU Extension offers great tips for caring for newly planted trees.


  • Should you fertilize your lawn in the spring? The answer to that depends on your soil conditions, and the only way to know that is to have it tested.
  • If you haven’t started mowing yet, you probably will need to soon (after it dries out a bit – mowing wet lawn can cause all kinds of damage to the grass and soil).
  • When you do mow, consider mowing higher than you might usually. MSU extension recommends mowing no lower than 3.5” to maintain a healthy lawn.

In the veggie garden:

  • It’s been tough to get going in the vegetable garden this year because of the cold and wet, and while there are some things you can definitely plant now –  such as asparagus, potatoes, onion sets or plants, spinach, lettuce, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cabbage, and kale – but tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squashes, and most herbs should wait until after the danger of frost is over.
  • Around mid-month, the soil should be warm enough to plant beans, and most herbs. Wait until the end of the month to plant basil, though – it really can’t handle temps below 50°, even for just one or two nights.

For the birds:

  • If you have been feeding birds all winter and are thinking of stopping for the summer, don’t do it yet (or at all – I feed mine all year long).
  • The other benefit to feeding the birds throughout the spring is that it gives new bird parents another option in addition to insects and worms while feeding freshly hatched baby birds.
  • If you haven’t gotten your hummingbird and oriole feeders out yet – don’t wait any longer!
  • If you put away your bird baths for the winter, get them out and fill them up now.
More info on all of these tips can be found in our monthly newsletter: Read the May 2019 issue of Let’s Get Gardening 

Pottery Sale

Garden Mill
5th Annual Pottery Sale! 

Save up to 50% off most
ceramic, metal, and stone planters

While Supplies Last, through 5/31/19
Offer good on in-stock supplies only
Cannot be combined with any other offer
Excludes artist consignment pieces


Find the perfect Mother’s Day gift at The Garden Mill!

We have lots of great ideas for every mom and every budget. We get beautiful flower baskets and pots weekly at this time of year, so you’re sure to find the one she would love to have hanging on her front porch or gracing her patio. We also have a great selection of gardening tools, gloves, plants, and seeds for all the gardening moms, as well as decor for your mom’s yard and home. For moms who love birds, we carry lots of feeders, houses, and birdbaths. And of course, a gift certificate can never go wrong. You’re sure to make Mother’s Day even more special with a gift from The Garden Mill!

Store News & Specials

  • $10 off $50 purchase coupon

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