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Effingham Magazine

Gardening Tips for May & June

Gardening Tips for May & June

From Blackcreek Nursery & Garden


As we transition into the gardening months of May and June, your to-do list for the garden is brimming with tasks. The threat of frost and freezes is long gone, making it the perfect time for your garden to flourish with color and life.

Gardenias, Hydrangeas, Butterfly Bushes, Lantana, and an array of plants are now blooming, attracting butterflies, bees, and dragonflies. While the warmer weather brings forth blooms, it also brings challenges such as damaging insects, heat stress, and weed growth. Here are some valuable tips to ensure your garden looks its best with minimal effort!


Despite the approaching summer, it’s never too late to plant in southeast Georgia, as long as you focus on three crucial factors: water, mulch, and nutrients.

Watering Needs: During the warmer months, plants require more water. Regularly monitor both newly planted and established plants. Supplement with irrigation as needed, ensuring all sprayers or drip lines are functional. If hand watering, ensure water reaches the plant roots effectively.

Mulch: A natural mulch like straw, bark, or leaves offers numerous benefits. It beautifies the garden, suppresses weeds, maintains root moisture, cools the soil, and enriches the soil with essential nutrients. Avoid synthetic mulches as they lack these advantages.

Nutrients: Provide your plants with a balanced diet by using the right fertilizer based on their specific requirements. Grass fertilizers are not good for bedding plants! Liquid fertilizers require regular applications, while granular fertilizers offer immediate or extended benefits. Always follow label instructions to prevent over-fertilization.

Weeds in the Garden

Weeds are a significant threat to garden health, competing for resources and potentially causing harm. Natural weed control methods, such as generous mulching and using biodegradable materials like cardboard, are recommended over herbicides. If opting for chemical control, choose organic products carefully and follow label instructions to minimize harm to plants, pets, and pollinators. Even organics can be harmful to pollinators if not used according to the label.


With summer comes a variety of insects, both beneficial and harmful. Different insects require specific control methods. Beneficial insects such as ladybugs and dragonflies play a vital role in pest control and should be preserved. For pest control, consider natural solutions like oils or insecticidal soaps that are safe for plants and pets.

It is important before you spray any chemical that you know for sure what you’re spraying for. You may think you’re spraying for an insect when you may have a fungal problem. If you don’t know, ask a professional.


May and June are ideal for pruning shrubs, trees, and plants, allowing them to recover before the colder months. It’s essential to know which plants should not be pruned after June, such as those that bloom on last year’s growth. Here are a few plants that you don’t want to prune after June.

  • Old-fashioned hydrangeas bloom on last year’s growth so prune after they bloom but not after June. Panicle hydrangeas always bloom on the current year’s growth, so those are ok.
  • Blueberries and some blackberries produce berries on last year’s growth, so you can prune lightly but not heavily after June.
  • Camellias are another plant you don’t want to prune after June. They start to set bud in mid-summer and pruning them now can keep them from blooming this next season.

Irrigation Evaluation

As summer approaches, it’s crucial to assess your irrigation system. Ensure timers are working correctly, replace faulty components, and plan watering schedules to provide adequate hydration to your plants.

By following these tips, you can maintain a thriving garden throughout May and June, filled with colorful blooms, buzzing pollinators, and healthy plant growth.

Happy gardening!