May Gar­den­ing Thoughts

Catron Courier - - News -

by Wilma Stan­ton, Mas­ter Gar­dener

Wel­come to the month of May. May Day al­ways re­minds me of the times when I used to de­liver May bas­kets and beau­ti­ful flow­ers to neigh­bors, friends and rel­a­tives. We should do more of this to­day and it would be great.

The month of May has sev­eral yearly ac­tiv­i­ties that we all en­joy or par­tic­i­pate in. The Na­tional Day of Prayer is May 3 and, of course, May 5 is Cinco de Mayo. Mother's Day is May 13 and Ra­madan be­gins on May 15. Armed Forces Day is May 19 and last, but not least, Memo­rial Day is May 28 fol­lowed by a full moon on May 29.

If you pur­chase any plants, be sure and keep them well wa­tered un­til they be­come es­tab­lished. More roses are lost dur­ing their early grow­ing pe­riod than at any other time. When our last frost is over, plant black -eyed peas, cab­bages, cau­li­flower, sweet pota­toes and wax and green beans. If you have any sy­camore or maple trees, give them iron sul­fate. Fer­til­ize your new roses when they start vig­or­ous growth.

When the nights warm, put some of your house­plants out­side. Plant marigolds and zin­nias when the soil is warm. Be sure to fer­til­ize the spring bulbs you have. Clip blooms from your herbs.

If your ori­en­tal poppy or your lark­spur have bloomed, re­move the dead blos­soms. This way, you should have an­other round of blooms. Late freezes may cause a prob­lem on some of your roses. Cut them back as if they had bloomed, to a com­plete five-leaf cut leaf.

By the way, if you plant corn, plant it in squares for bet­ter pol­li­na­tion. If your mint grows too tall, cut it back with hedge clip­pers and use the cut stems and leaves as mulch.

Re­cently, I have seen many trees re­ally in need of wa­ter at places where peo­ple do lots of ir­ri­gat­ing, but for some rea­son they ne­glect their trees. Also, some peo­ple wa­ter their trees, but not where they should wa­ter them. At the base, the large roots un­der the canopy of the tree do not ab­sorb much wa­ter. There are roots un­der the dripline of the tree. This is where the wa­ter drips from the ends of the branches to the ground dur­ing a rain. It is drier un­der the canopy be­cause the tree di­rects the wa­ter to the drip-line. The soil un­der the dripline of a tree is a good place to ir­ri­gate. How­ever, the roots of a tree ex­tend to well be­yond the ends of the branches and should be ir­ri­gated. Tree roots can ex­tend 4 or more times the height of a tree from the trunk. It is not nec­es­sary to wa­ter the en­tire ex­tent of the roots, but a large por­tion should be ir­ri­gated.

Trees that have been on their own, with­out wa­ter, may have a more ex­ten­sive root sys­tem than trees reg­u­larly wa­tered. This is be­cause the roots adapt to the wa­ter­ing when they are ir­ri­gated. Re­mem­ber, that dur­ing a drought sit­u­a­tion, trees need wa­ter, but it must be done prop­erly. In New Mex­ico, when you are do­ing your land­scap­ing, con­sider the types of trees to plant with our lim­ited lack of mois­ture.

As our sum­mer gar­den­ing is get­ting into full swing, be sure and in­clude your whole fam­ily in your gar­den­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. The re­sults will be bet­ter and the last­ing memories will be won­der­ful.

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