May 2023: Maintaining Your Garden

Hello, lovely potatoes of the world!!! If you decided to start a garden last month, we hope you have had success thus far! And otherwise, we hope you’ve enjoyed spending some time outdoors!

We will be continuing our gardening theme with the tasks of May, as well as maintaining your garden! Now that the freezes are over, you can start growing plants in earnest! Here are the main things to work on in May:

  • Plant the plants who start growing a bit later, and seedlings (whether those you’ve started growing indoors or those you buy) — here’s a planting calendar! And ideas for the year!
  • Make sure to water your garden regularly and naturally fertilize it if necessary (more on maintaining your garden below!)
  • Continue your composting
  • If you have a yard, invest in lawn alternatives and plant native plants in your yard (you can get some here!)
  • If there is any erosion or an overly wet area in your yard, plant a rain garden
  • Check in with your plants! Are they happy? Overwatered? Underwatered? Crowded? Lonely? Completely thriving?
  • Participate in No Mow May, an initiative to protect pollinators who are still hibernating. 🐝💛 Basically, just don’t mow your yard until June! Encouraged by the cities of Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Jackson, and most recently, Ferndale!

Here are some things you’ll want to do to maintain your garden:

Mulch your garden! Mulch is a covering used for the soil and can be organic or inorganic — be sure to look for sustainable mulch. One of the main benefits of mulching is that it helps plants retain moisture, so you don’t have to water your garden as much; some other benefits include helping regulate soil temperature, providing nutrients, and blocking the growth of invasive plants! Plus, mulching makes your garden look prettier! Mid to late spring is the best time to mulch your garden, so get started on it asap with these nifty tips. If you don’t want to mulch, though, that works too!

Make sure you’re watering your garden enough! 

  • Plants need about an inch of water per week. 
  • You should aim to water your garden on days when it doesn’t rain, feeling the soil and taking into consideration how dry it feels. Soil on top might be a bit dry, but if the soil one inch deep is dry, then you should probably water your plants.
  • It’s best to water your plants in the morning, failing which you should aim to water in the evening. Avoid watering your plants around noon, as the water will evaporate.
  • If your plants look droopy around midday, it might just be a midday slump — however, if they have not retained their turgidity around evening, you may need to water them!

If you’re wondering where to get seedlings, there are some wonderful local farms and farmers markets in the Ann Arbor area! 

And if you’re not local to Ann Arbor, there are likely amazing farmer’s markets near you too. And most general stores or gardening/landscaping stores have seeds and seedlings as well.

We’re wish you all the best with your gardening adventures!!

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