This Months To Do List
The month of May is already here. The World Champion Houston Astros are getting into the swing of things, and we are getting ready to host backyard barbecue competitions. The heat of the summer is just around the corner, so we want to create a comfortable outdoor space. We know it’s going to get bright, sunny, and humid. The good news is that we can plant trees now that can provide a bit of respite so that we can keep serving our favorite East Texas-style barbecue dishes to our friends and family outdoors.
With summer fast approaching, we need to get ready for hurricane season. Of course, the upcoming season also means that we need to prepare for insects and pests. We still have time to prepare our landscape for the summer. Houston is a great place to be outdoors, even when it’s hot and muggy. Of course, shade trees are always a welcome sight when the sun is out. Specimen size trees such as Live Oak can provide shade and may offer a semi-dry spot during a sudden downpour!
We asked our Texas nursery pros for some tips and tasks for a healthy landscape this month, and this is what we compiled. Read about our landscape and garden tips for the month of May below.
Tips for a Healthy Landscape in May
How to Water: We recommend watering early in the morning. It is best to water deeply and avoiding leaves whenever possible. Newly planted shrubs require special attention and should be well watered. We can keep our lawn healthy by watering, too. Click here for our informative watering guide for the Houston area.
How to Fertilize: It’s May, so we will want to fertilize our annual and perennial flower beds. We will want to feed our lawn with control-released nitrogen fertilizer.
Lawn Care: For healthy grass, we recommend avoiding weed and feed products. If you need to apply herbicides, be sure to apply to areas with weed infestations. Watch out for lawn insects and if you see any, use control measures. Mowing your lawn on a regular basis is an excellent way to prevent pests. Mow your lawn at their recommended heights. St. Augustine and Bahia should be 3 to 4 inches; Centipede: 1.5 to 2 inches; Dwarf St. Augustine: 2.5 inches.
Get Ready for Hurricane Season: If you have time and know what to look for, we recommend checking your trees for damaged or weak branches. Prune as needed. Consult a professional for more help.
Insects: Be on the lookout for any insects devouring your plants. Insects love to feast on tomatoes. Be sure to check your plants, look for any insects and diseases, and treat them when necessary.
Mulch: We want to be sure that our crops have plenty of mulch, especially during dry spells. We recommend adding mulch between the rows in your garden. Doing this can help control soil temperature and retain moisture.
Pruning: We will want to finish pruning spring-flowering trees and shrubs after they bloom. It is also good to lightly prune azaleas. We like to remove any dead flowers from plants because doing this can encourage new growth.
Vegetable Garden: This is the time to make another planting of warm weather vegetables such as beans, corn, squash, eggplant, tomato, and peppers. We can also plant Southern delights such as okra, southern peas, and sweet potatoes. Be sure to remove suckers from tomato plants and tie them up on stakes or trellises. Be sure that vines are not on the ground.
Herb Garden: Keep planting heat-loving herbs such as oregano, sage, Mexican tarragon, and rosemary.
Other Things to Plant: This is the time to plant annuals that can take the summer heat. Plants such as angelonia, wax begonia, and ornamental pepper are great. We can also plant bulbs for summer color, such as early-to-late-blooming varieties of daylilies.
Tip: To help rejuvenate your houseplants, bring them outdoors. Always be sure to check them for any diseases or insects.
East Texas Landscaping Ideas
Trees and palms can help increase property value. Besides adding value to your home, they can also help create a comfortable outdoor space.
Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera): Date Palms are the big marquee palm trees that we often see in upscale shopping centers, malls, and luxury resorts. We can plant them in our yards in Houston and add instant curb appeal and class. Our certified disease-free palms can create a formal look when planted in rows at the same height. Plant them in varying heights in groups of 3 or 5, and create a natural effect that is sure to bring interest to any landscape. Bring the tropical appeal to your property. Plant them poolside and take in the beauty of these elegant palms while floating in the pool. They have wide fronds so that they can create shade when planted in groups or rows. We offer Date Palms with diamond-cut trunks that adds impressive formality and an elegant presence.
Sylvester Palm (Phoenix sylvestris): It is easy to see why these are one of the world’s most popular palm trees. They feature a robust, solitary trunk with a stunning diamond pattern that adds a touch of elegance to any landscape. These palm trees are often planted in luxury properties, golf courses, and along avenues. We like to plant them near swimming pools, where we can take in their graceful shape reflected in the mirror-smooth water. These palms are cold hardy and adapt to a wide range of soil conditions.
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana): Specimen size Live Oak trees are a family favorite. These are evergreen trees with dense, dark green foliage and a spreading crown that creates plenty of shade. Both homeowners and landscapers rave about its low maintenance features – they can thrive in a landscape with little to no special care required. Live Oak trees are clean, so they are ideal for lawn planting. Plant them in rows, and they can create a beautiful privacy screen. Bonus points for tolerating extreme windy conditions.
Mexican Oak (Quercus polymorpha): If you want to bring massive shade coverage and beauty to your landscape, look no further than the Mexican Oak tree. Texas gardeners attest to their hardiness. They can adapt to many soil types, so they are ideal for the Houston area. These green giants require minimal care to look good. Just let nature do most of the work - as long as they receive occasional rain, they will bring many years of natural shade and plenty of appeal to your landscape.
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii): Also called Red Oak, these are hardy, fast-growing trees that are a favorite natural shade provider. They can establish quickly, and as they grow, they develop a wide spreading canopy. People love the look of the rich green leaves, and in the fall, the leaves turn to an attractive deep scarlet color. If you are looking for any easy-to-grow tree, you have found it with Shumard Oak!
Nuttall Oak (Quercus texana): This beautiful, long-lived tree establishes quickly and is the perfect large shade tree to have in the summer. It is deciduous so that it can block the sunlight in the summer and when the leaves drop, it can let the warmth of the sun in during the winter. When you’re barbecuing outdoors and ready to serve, bring the picnic table over and place it beneath the headroom for a good time feasting under the shade! Bonus points for being cold, heat, and drought tolerant.
Take advantage of this mild weather while you can and take care of your landscape. Visit your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries Big Tex location and purchase the things you need to take care of weeds, the proper fertilizers that keep your plants healthy, and the mulch that allows roots to keep cool and moist!