10 Things to Do in the Garden in May
Our May garden planning and maintenance calendar for the region, plus inspiration, book recommendations and garden events in San Diego
1. Irrigate fruit trees by watering at least two feet deep in a broad base around the trunk.
2. Feed camellias plant food to help promote next season’s flowering.
3. Sow edibles like tomatoes, peppers, melons, corn, squash, cucumbers, basils and beans.
4. Add citrus, avocado and sub-tropical fruits like bananas, guavas, cherimoyas, kumquats and mangos.
5. Mulch vegetable gardens with straw to help hold the moisture these fast-growers need.
6. Leave some patches of bare dirt in the garden for native bees that nest in the ground.
7. Set out ant traps to reduce colonies.
8. Deadhead and feed roses to encourage a second bloom.
9. Groom succulents, removing dead leaves and cleaning up any nearby debris.
What’s Inspiring Me Right Now
300 Step-by-Step Cooking & Gardening Projects for Kids: The Ultimate Book For Budding Gardeners And Super Chefs, With Amazing Things To Grow And Cook Yourself by Nancy McDougall and Jenny Hendy. This great activity book is full of recipes and crafts that your kids can sink their teeth into.
I’m also reading…
They Can Do It, a PDF-download book by Mary Heffernan. One of my favorite Instagram accounts is @fivemarysfarms. Mary, her husband Brian and their four daughters transformed their life by moving from the city to a giant ranch in northern California. It is fascinating to follow their journey. This book is all about how capable your kids can be. It references the family’s personal journey and it is a must-read for parents.
@thehappygardeninglife for the ultimate garden inspiration. These happy gardeners scout the internet, posting the very best, most colorful garden photos.
Where You May Find Me This Month
I’m hoping to catch the 93rd annual Julian Wildflower Show starting at 10 a.m. and running until 4 p.m., May 3-5, at the Julian Woman’s Club in the Julian Town Hall. Specimens from more than 850 plant species in a 15 air-mile radius surrounding Julian will be on display. The show focuses on how we as a community can nurture these jewels by learning about the plants, conservation efforts and what grows best in our climate and region. Need more info? Go to julianwomansclub.org.
There’s still time to visit the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch when the nearly 50 acres of Giant Tecolote ranunculus flowers are in bloom from early March through early May—literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area’s local heritage, also is one of nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in Southern California. If you hurry (they are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until May 12 at 5704 Paseo del Norte), you can make it. For prices and more info, visit theflowerfields.com.
I’m going to spend May 11, the Saturday before Mother’s Day, at San Diego Botanic Garden’s Chocolate Festival to enjoy dozens of delectable chocolate tastings, demonstrations, a chocolate fountain and more. This family-friendly event also features lots of children’s activities and a variety of Mother’s Day gifts. “Tasting” tickets will be sold on site. Sdbgarden.org has the scoop.
And I won’t know where I’m going on Saturday, May 18, because tour stops are a secret until event day, but I’m sure I won’t be disappointed by the Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, a benefit for the La Jolla Historical Society that San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine sponsors each year. There’s a Platinum Tour with a brunch and transportation or a self-guided tour. Plus, the Friday before, there’s a kick-off Candlelight Garden Soiree. For more information, visit lajollahistory.org.
More May Garden Events and Tours in the Greater San Diego Area
- May 11, 10 a.m. — Mission Hills Garden Walk
- May 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. — Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society’s Architecture in Bloom
- May 11 – 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. — San Dieguito Art Guild Mother’s Day Art, Garden and Studio Tour (South Carlsbad and Encinitas)