Pinch back stems of sedum for sturdier growth. Continue thinning phlox to provide good air circulation and prevent fungus disease. Check hostas for slug invasions. Treat with diatomaceous earth or spread pine needle mulch around the plants. New slug pellets are said to be harmless to pets.
Remove most old flower stalks from Siberian iris, but leave some to develop seed pods for winter interest. Yellow flag iris, beautiful as it is, can be invasive and should be deadheaded.
Water newly planted plants, containers and window boxes. Fertilize regularly every two weeks with water-soluble fertilizer. Deadhead pansies. Snap off old geranium flowers promptly to prevent fungus diseases.
Designers are creating more fantastic arrangements for planters with grasses, foliage and flowers instead of just impatiens and geraniums.
Vegetables and fruits
Continue thinning root vegetables, broccoli and cabbage. Mulch between the rows after weeding thoroughly. Continue direct-seeding of all crops. Keep surface of the soil moist to aid the seedlings as they push through the soil.
As soon as squash, cucumber and pumpkins emerge, put on the floating row covers to prevent squash vine borer and cucumber beetle from laying eggs. Remove covers at pollination time.
Trees and shrubs
Continue pruning spring-flowering shrubs after all the flowers have fallen. Remove seed heads from lilacs and if they are growing too high, cut one-third of the biggest stems to the ground. Lilacs like an alkaline soil and not too much nitrogen.
Pinch off faded blooms of rhododendrons, mountain laurels and azaleas. Avoid damaging the buds below the truss, since they are part of the shrubâ€™s new growth.
Keep the mower blades sharp.
Keep houseplants safe from summer storms. High winds and possible hail will damage them.
A cool wet May has delayed vegetable growth but made the spring blossoms last longer.
â€” Susan Henry