Early May in the Garden

poppy pair

Early May brings us the beauty of iris, the  continuation of tulips and the grace of the shade loving Bleeding Heart. As of May 5th,  we are past our 10 year average final frost date. Even so, many gardeners watch evening lows for the next week or so before putting out tender plants such as basil, tomatoes and many annuals. If worried about a plant in your yard, a good tip is to cover it with a bucket or sheet. A light dusting of snow generally doesn’t cause harm; in fact, it serves as an insulator.

Now is a good time to evaluate your perennial beds.frontgarden

  • Will there be early, mid and late season color?
  • Would some plants do better in another area?
  • Is there an interesting variety of spikey, round and open faced flowers to create visual interest?
  • Do you have a mixture of foliage, color and shape?
  • Are there areas that are too sparse or too crowed?

All of these elements contribute to an interesting, informal, season-long garden. “Perennials sleep in the first year, creep in the second year and leap in the third”, is a common garden adage to keep in mind when designing a garden bed.

The Plant Select brand of plants, which are tested for success in our climate by Colorado State University, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Colorado landscape industry. Given the wide array of  these plants, you are likely to find many to fill your needs. Check www.plantselect.org for information on plants and creative garden design layouts.

We hope you’ll join us for our  Denver Master Gardener Plant Sale  for an  amazing array of veggies, herbs, annuals and perennials (including some Plant Select varieties). Stop by on Saturday, May 16th from 8-3 or Sunday, May 17th from 10-3 at the Denver Extension office, 888 E. Iliff Avenue. Here’s a small sample of the gems our Master Gardeners are growing:

  •  Lemon Cucumbers – yellow, round and sweeter than classic types. A new one to try.
  • Pumpkin on a Stick or Tree Pumpkin – a bright and curious ornamental that is long lasting in a vase. Fun for kids and adults alike.
  • Tomatillos – easy to grow plant produces lots of fruit for your authentic salsa.
  • Silver Fur Tree Tomatoes – Heirloom variety which produces heavy crops of red fruits. Unique ferny foliage which performs well in a pot.

Enjoy early May in the Garden!

Be sure to  subscribe to Denver Gardeners blog (see right column for directions). We aim to educate and encourage gardeners of all experience levels.

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