Tofino Gardening in May
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
Okay, so the weather wasn't great in April, or March or February, or January, but the bright side is that weeds are easier to pull after a good hard rain, or watering, and with all this rain, you'd think they'd be jumping out of the ground by themselves. But they're not. I am seeing tell tail, and I mean tail as in horsetail, shoots coming up all over, even in gardens I've never had them in before. But my birds a weedin trick from April's issue does work for the less obnoxious weeds, and I am still working on a gm slug. So far it still eats all my good plants, but I have managed to teach it not to put its elbows on the table.
So as spring progresses and we still have to do a few chores, at this time, it is probably a good time to put some more bulb fertilizer on your bulbs as they start to die back, to give them some go-go for next year. Let the greens die off naturally as they also provide some nutrients to the bulb.
Continue fertilizing perennials for lush growth and stake any tall perennials now before they get too large and fall over. Dividing some of the older ones will help to replenish and revitalize growth.
It's time to start potting up your hanging baskets and planters for summer colour, and don't forget Mother's Day is just around the corner, so maybe plan for a spot of bright colour by the front door, or a hanging basket. As you plant up your baskets and planters, incorporate some water saving crystals into the soil. This will help reduce the amount of watering that you will have to do each day in the summer. Also put in some slow release fertilizer, which along with a water soluble fertilizer will help to create a lush basket all summer long.
Prune any early flowering shrubs like forsythia that need it, to control shape and help to thicken growth. Also, any group 3 Clematis such as the Montana varieties can be lightly pruned as well.
Watch for aphids on your roses, as the weather dries and warms up. Fertilize with a broad leaf weed killer, and over seed lawns if they need a little patch work.
The ponds and fish are definitely out of dormancy now; up their feeding to once or twice weekly. Watch for morts and any disease. The dreaded raccoons are still making their raids and king fishers are around as well. Place some fertilizer tablets in with your pond plants, and, if possible, repot them into larger pots. Try to get as much surface area covered as possible to help reduce the algae bloom this summer.
The birds are out chirping up a storm, so you may want to give them a little something,
And the humming birds are definitely back, and brazen, bombing me whenever I get too close to their feeder and other favorite spots.
The current word on the mini cultivator I ordered in is that it works really well, and for seniors who have limited movement, it tills the ground up quite well with little effort.
My green thumb is up on this one this month.
Favorite blossoms for May are Magnolias, Clematis, Rhododendrons, and of course Lilacs.
Yeah happpy happy spring and happy mothers day
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino at 619 Tibbs Place Road.