May in southern California is a summer month, meaning that your gardening routines will start to look a bit different. Here are a few tips and reminders for your May checklist:
- Check all irrigation systems for efficient operation – This is key for ensuring that your plants are properly and sufficiently watered, as more water is used during summer months. Make and diligently maintain a watering schedule. Be sure to set your sprinklers for early mornings. Do you still have antique sprinkler heads? Instead, look for small rotating stream nozzles that water slowly with almost zero run-off. Brands such as Hunter, Randbird, and Toro make great nozzles.
- Now’s the time to plant pumpkins for the fall – If you want well grown pumpkins that are ripe for the holidays, now’s the time to prep your patch. First, you’ll need a deep fast-drying soil. You’ll also need plenty of organic compost and manure mixed into the soil. Last, prepare a water system that floods, soaks, or drips to the root zone (avoid overhead water). Decide what kinds of pumpkins you want (eating, carving, decorating, or bragging rights) and make sure you purchase the right types of seeds, as there are several variations.
- Fertilize citrus and fruit trees – Next month is the second feeding for citrus and fruit trees, so prepare a balanced fertilizer like Triple 15. Other products that will do the trick include Grow Power or Bind Quano. Be sure to check any of these out.
Make sure that your garden is ready for the fall. Please let me know how my suggested products work for you, and feel free to comment your suggestions as well.