Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs when they finish blooming. Do not remove leaves until they turn brown because they continue to nourish the bulb until that point.
Plant tender annuals and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, melons) around Memorial Day.
Check mower blades and pruning tools and, if needed, sharpen them now.
Remember to leave grass clippings on the lawn. They fertilize the soil. If you must pick them up, take them to the Northland Arboretum compost site or compost them yourself at home.
Stake or cage peonies as they emerge from the ground when it's easy to do and before they flop over.
Remove water sprouts (long vertical shoots) from apple trees.
Divide perennials now and share them with friends.
Birch leaf miners attack birch trees in May. They rarely harm the tree but can make it unsightly. Spray if needed with a product labeled for birch miners. It must be done early in the infestation.
It's too early to mulch. Mulch keeps the soil cool, and at this time of year soils need to warm up.
If planting an apple tree, try a dwarf variety instead of a standard tree. They produce fruit at a younger age and are easier to maintain.
Some plants grow as well or better than those in a greenhouse if sown from seed directly into the garden. Among them are cosmos, poppies, zinnias and marigolds.
Eastern tent caterpillars soon will build webs in fruit tree crotches. They do little harm. The easiest control method is to remove the webs and burn them with the caterpillars inside.
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