University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
BULBS AND OTHER MAY GARDENING TIPS
Leonard Perry, UVM Extension
Moving spring-blooming bulbs, using
coffee grounds in the garden, and planting dahlias are some of the gardening
tips for this month.
you want to move some spring-blooming bulbs to another spot, or thin thick
clumps of daffodils, wait until the foliage has turned yellow later in summer,
then carefully dig them up and let them dry in a shady spot for a few days.
Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place for the summer until it's time to plant
them in fall.
grounds contain some major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) as
well as some micronutrients, so put them to work in your garden. Allow them to
dry and then spread them around the base of plants. Lettuce, especially, seems
to benefit, and the grounds may benefit acid-loving plants since the grounds
are slightly acidic. Coffee grounds also
will deter slugs. Slit coffee filters
and place them around the base of hosta stems if slugs are a problem.
is the key to setting out many tender transplants, whether flowers or
warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers. Otherwise, have some frost protection
ready! Keep some of the inexpensive
frost protection cloth, as available online and at many garden stores,
handy. Even if frost isn’t a problem,
warm season crops including squash and corn wont grow well in cool temperatures
and soils. If tomato plant leaves turn
purplish, that’s a sign temperatures are too cool and they aren’t absorbing the
such as clematis will grow through trees and shrubs if you give them the
support they need to get started. Surround the lower portion of a tree with a
cylinder of fencing to give the vine something to cling to until it reaches the
branches. Or attach some twine to a lower branch and anchor it in the ground
with a U-shaped stake.
you overwintered dahlias from last year in a large clump, use a sharp knife to
divide them into pieces with at least two sprouts each. Dig holes 12 inches
deep for the tall varieties, and about 8 inches deep for the shorter types. Lay
one tuber at the bottom of each hole and cover with about 3 inches of soil. As
the shoots grow, fill in around the stem with more soil until the hole is
lilacs finish flowering, prune off the old blossoms to increase the number of
flowers next year. Do this soon because the plants will begin setting buds for
next year's flowers. To reduce the height of the shrub, prune the old stems to
the ground and allow new shoots to grow. Prune all at once, or gradually remove
one-third of the old stems over a three-year period for a less drastic effect.
When gardening, especially around
weeds and grassy areas and as plants grow taller, be on the watch for
ticks. Three types of ticks, but
particularly deer ticks, can transmit the serious lyme disease. Although rarely fatal, it can be quite
debilitating unless treated early. Tick
bites that don’t disappear in a few days, that develop a “bull’s eye”
appearance, and expand, should be checked out at once by a doctor. While no vaccines prevent this disease, it
can be treated with antibiotics during early stages of infection. Wear long pants and sleeves if ticks are
(Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally known horticulturist,
author, gardening consultant, and garden coach; CharlieNardozzi.com).