Dear Lillies,

beet_w_stem_TGrow something this summer, even if it is only a pot of basil or dill. Plant a full garden if you are able. Growing your own food is a great way to save money and eat healthier. Get the children involved. They love planting seeds and watching them pop out of the dirt; it gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Here are some activities to do in the garden for May:

  • Using chemicals to rid your garden of pests is a last resort. First, try natural remedies:
  • Watch for problems and taking action before things get out of control.
  • Release natural predators and organisms that will get rid of pests in your garden.
  • Washing leaves off with water is another non-chemical option.
  • Other non-chemical options include washing leaves off with water, removing pests by hand, laying barrier screen over new plants, and essential oils/herbs such as Neem.
  • The ground is always colder than the air. Know your ground temperature.
  • Tomatoes, squash, melons, peppers and eggplant need consistent ground temperatures above 70°F to grow.
  • You don’t necessarily have to take soil temps, experience is a great teacher, and so is getting to know local gardeners or taking classes.
  • See the notes you made in last year’s garden journal and make notes in this year’s journal.
  • Remove weeds when they are small.
  • Learn how to recognize fly and larvae infestations by taking a class or getting help from someone with experience.
  • Plant fruits and vegetables based on your local climate; ask experienced local gardeners for help.