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McKay Nursery Company

May Landscape Tips

5/9/2014 3:26 PM

Written by

McKay Staff

in Gardening 101 How-to Guide

MAY Landscaping Tips - Daffodils


  • Flowering Bulbs - The general rule of thumb with spring flowering bulbs is to only remove the spent flower tops, and allow all green foliage to remain. The green parts are what make the new bulbs for next year. As soon as the flowers have finished you may want to fertilize the foliage to help make a nice strong bulb for next year. Once the foliage has naturally turned brown you can then trim it down to the ground. I know that you will be tempted to cut that foliage off early, but remember as long as it is green… it is making food for next year’s flowers so leave it alone until it goes dormant. This is a very important step for next year’s flowers. Don’t forget to prune Magnolia, Rhodendrons, and Lilacs only immediately following the bloom so you don’t harm the flower buds for next year.  Any specific questions for specific plants, please contact your local McKay Design Pro.
  • Rose Bushes - Remember that roses that bloom on new wood should all be cut back to only 4-6".
  • Perennials and Ornamental Grasses should be cut back to allow new fresh green blades to grow from the ground. Last year grass tops will not green up and grow, but should be cut off.
  • Divide Blooming Perennials - There is still time to divide blooming perennials by reducing the size of the clumps to maintain better health for the mature plantings.
  • Lilcacs – We grow many types of lilacs at McKay. The early bloomers are the Hyacinthiflora types, next the Common Lilacs bloom, followed by the French hybrids, and then the Bloomerang, Miss Kim and Palibin.  The latest blooming Lilacs are the Canadian Hybrids, and lastly we finish out with Japanese tree and Ivory Silk Lilacs. You can have Lilacs blooming from early May well into June if you plan it right!
  • Ediscapes - Edible landscapes are an excellent way to include annuals, perennials, shrubs and vegetables and herbs all in the same border. Don't forget that vegetable gardens don't have to be a rectangle. Have your McKay Design Professional design in your vegetable garden in an open sunny area. Maybe you want to have a nice flowering shrub backdrop to your veggies, and include some annual flowers in the front to tie the garden to your landscape. Many herbs, kale, lettuces are very ornamental and look excellent - a nice double whammy! Use containers on your patio, use vertical space and get creative. Soon it will be safe for planting now, as our frost free date average is about the middle of May through late September.
  • Tree & Shrub Care - If you are planning on using Bayer Advanced tree & shrub care and Rose care, do so right away as it takes some time for the product to be taken up in the plant. Earlier application means earlier protection. Use systemic on roses and plants that Japanese beetles bothered last year
  • Sustainable landscapes are nothing new. McKay has been designing them for decades. Learn more about better ways to promote sustainability with less lawn areas, preventing rainwater runoff (by holding and using that water later or allowing it to percolate into your soil), and the use of native plants, which has been gaining popularity. Let McKay help you.

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