Flowers are blooming, seedlings are sprouting: May is prime-time in the garden.
Now that the weather is reliably warm, it’s finally time to plant those summer garden favorites that need a little heat: tomatoes, peppers, basil, dill, squash, okra.
Here are other ways to celebrate this first week of May in the garden:
* Plant perennials in new or existing garden beds. Water them well, and to make sure they get enough moisture to survive their first season, consider using soaker hoses throughout the beds, for easier, more efficient watering.
* Set out bedding plants: petunias, salvia, begonias, impatiens and other favorites.
* If you need to prune the azaleas, now is the time to do it. Use clean pruning shears to avoid spreading diseases. Cut branches back to a side branch that is growing in the desired direction. Cut close to the branch without leaving a stub. Info: azaleas.org.
* Some houseplants enjoy a summer vacation outdoors. Place them in a shady, protected spot to acclimate them to their temporary outdoor home.
* Plant bright flowers to bring butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden: Bee balm, salvia, cardinal flower and zinnias are easy-to-grow favorites.
Make room in your schedule for two great garden events next Saturday, May 7:
* Herb Fair, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, 1808 Woodmont Blvd., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.Dozens of varieties of herb plants for sale, along with gift items, baked goods and more. www.firstuunashville.org
* Middle Tennessee Hosta Society hosta sale, in the parking lot of Maryland Farms YMCA, 5101 Maryland Wayin Brentwood, 8:30 am. – 2 p.m.More than 250 varieties of hostas available. www.mths-hosta.com.
Look for the May Landscape & Garden Calendar, with suggestions for ways to enjoy the rest of the month in the garden, in next Saturday’s Tennessean and online at Tennessean.com.
At Turning Toward the Sun: A Garden Journal – The focus in on gardening in West End IB World School’s new outdoor classroom.