Daily Archives: May 4, 2016


May Gardening Tips

Hello Friends, Neighbors, Fellow Gardeners,

Here are some gardening tips, educational opportunities, and events for May. Events for May include Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens, National Public Garden Day at Tudor Place,  Family Archeology Day at Needwood Mansion, World Bonsai Festival, MoCo Spring Fair, Flocks and Farms at Black Hill Visitors Center, and more!


  • Set aside a few hours each weekend for attending garden shows and tours. | DC Gardens
  • Treat Mom to a Mother’s Day Floral Tea at the Tudor Place in DC!tudor-place-mothers-day
  • Go on a local house or garden tour to see what plants are thriving in other’s area home gardens: http://www.visitmaryland.org/list/gardens-maryland
  • Good Gardening Videos.org Launches Today.  April 19, 2016
     A good resource for videos, gardening websites, and books, Good Gardening good_gardening_videos_logo1Videos.org, launched on April 19th with over 300 videos that have been selected for watchability (e.g., no traffic noise) and for gardening advice that’s reliable. Viewers can search for videos by category, by tag, or by browsing the “Latest” and “Most Popular” on the home page. Good Gardening Videos is a nonprofit, ad-free website created by garden writer and teacher Susan Harris, with help from an Advisory Team of scientists and other communicators.

Flowers and Groundcovers:

  • Pinch out growing tips of leggy transplants.
  • Remove last of spring flowers, replacing with transplants or seeds.
  • Fertilize transplants.
  • Plant hardier transplants.
  • Plant summer flowering bulbs.
  • Begin hardening off tender transplants.
  • After the last frost date, plant warm-season annuals and tender bulbs (calla lilies, dahlias, gladiolus) in the ground and in containers.
  • The Hosta Garden (Montgomery County Master Gardener Program)
  • Tips on Gardening for Butterflies | Washington Area Butterfly Club
  • Introduction to Herbaceous Perennials (HG20) | University of Maryland Extension
    extension.umd.edu | A short but thorough guide to the basics of perennial gardening.
  • Water transplants deeply when dry.
  • Poison ivy | University of Maryland Extension | extension.umd.edu · Learn to identify poison ivy and avoid it!

  • Invasive Species of Concern in Maryland – Garlic Mustard | mdinvasivesp.org
  • New! slideshow of 54 top shade plants – A Way To Garden
    A Way To Garden | Got shade? Here are some plants that grow in the shade.tiger_lilies
  • 10 Spring Plants That Are Dangerous for Dogs and Cats
    Vetstreet | Spring plants that could cause serious harm to pets.
  • Bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla) will usually survive winter damage and regrow from the roots.
  • 5_5_2013-Native-azalea-'Delaware-Blue'-smallerFeatured Plants – Swamp Azalea ‘Delaware Blue’ | University of Maryland Extension
  • extension.umd.edu · Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum) is a species of deciduous azaleas, and they come into flower at a time when shrub bloom is scarce.
  • Article: When you love lilacs, but they don’t love you back
    Washington Post | Adrian Higgins
  • Pests to watch for: Aphids, spidermites, whiteflies, snails, slugs
  • Diseases to watch for: Blackspot on roses; powdery mildew, rust, bacterial diseases.
  • See UMD’s HGIC’s May Flower tips for more details.

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Directly after blooming, prune flowering shrubs and vines.
  • Plant and transplant shrubs that have finished blooming. Check often and water newly planted and transplanted trees if they don’t pass the “finger test” (stick your finger deep into the soil – dry? Water!)
    • FAQs – Shrubs Spring/Summer | University of Maryland Extension
      extension.umd.edu · Some common questions about shrubs answered
  • If you MUST mulch: Remove old mulch then add 2″ – 3″ shredded pine or pine needles, keeping 3″ away from trunk.
  • Prune crepe myrtle when you can see what is still alive.
  • Prune long shoots on shrubs to keep plant neat looking.
  • Pests to watch for: Gypsy moths, sawfly, azalea lacebug, spidermites, leafminers, caterpillars, adelgids, scale, aphids, and borers.
  • Diseases to watch for: Apple scab, Cedar-apple, hawthorn or quince rust, Verticillium wilt, and Oak leaf blister.
    • Common Problems – Trees and Shrubs: Witches’ Broom – Trees and Shrubs | University of Maryland Extension
      extension.umd.edu · Witches’ brooms are characterized by a proliferation of shoots growing close together. The shoots are usually shorter, stockier, and have an upright but more compact growth habit than normal. Witches’ brooms may be caused by fungal, viral, or mycoplasma-like organisms (MLOs).
  • See HGIC’s May Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.
Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:
  • Plant tender transplants: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, squash, sweet potato, corn. Sow seeds of: beans, melons, and cucumbers.
  • New fruit plants— keep watered their first spring, summer and fall.
  • extension.umd.edu | Compost is a valuable soil amendment.
  • Pests to watch for: Asparagus beetle, aphids, cabbage worms, cutworms.
  • mycology.cfans.umn.edu | University of Minnesota. Free download of flash cards to help in identification of fungi in the field, particularly if you are searching for edibles.  These cards are strictly for practice and should always be used in association with a more detailed source.

  • nwf.org | pollinator_challengeJoin the challenge to create a wildlife habitat! Anyone can create a welcoming haven for local wildlife. Turning your yard, balcony container garden, schoolyard, work landscape, or roadside greenspace into a Certified Wildlife Habitat®is fun, easy and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife.
  • Gardening Channel | The top performers in any field do things a little- or or a lot- differently than you and I. That’s why they are at the very top of their game.
  • Diseases to watch for: Apple scab, Cedar-apple rust.
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for May from UMD’s HGIC.


  • Mow grass at 3 inches and leave the clippings on the lawn.
  • Fertilize turf only if weak: apply 1 lb N/1000 sqft
  • Calibrate your spreader before fertilizing!
  • Mow zoysia grass at 2 inches.
  • Lawn Weeds: Carpetweed | University of Maryland Extension. Carpetweed is a summer annual broadleaf weed that spreads by seed. Seeds begin to germinate as soils begin to warm in early spring and continue to germinate throughout the growing season.
  • Lawn Disease: Red Thread – Lawns | University of Maryland Extension
    extension.umd.edu · Red thread is a lawn disease that can show up on turf during cool wet weather in the spring and fall.
  • Pests to watch for: Grubs
  • See HGIC’s May Lawn Tips for more details.


  • Remove old leaves, damaged stems.
  • Begin hardening off prior to putting outside in shade for summer.
  • Pests to watch for: Spidermites, mealybug, scale, aphids, squirrels
  • See HGIC’s May Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

  • Watch for ants , carpenter bees, mining bees, stink bugs, termites, ticks.
  • See HGIC’s May Insect Tips for more details.
  • Watch for: rabbits, groundhogs, deer, moles, voles, and squirrels
  • Snakes, turtles and toads are all very active now. These are all very beneficial creatures. They are very sensitive to pollutants such as pesticides. Their presence in the landscape is a sign of a healthy environment. To learn more about snakes in Maryland watch our video series (link is external).rabbits
  • humanesociety.org
  • Fun Facts about Bird Nests
    fws.gov | A reminder to be careful about birds’ nests.
  • It’s fawning season! Did you know that female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus fawnviginianus) leave their fawns on their own for hours at a time? Often, when humans find a fawn in natural areas or even in their yard as this homeowner did, they assume that the mother (doe) has abandoned it or has died. The truth is whitetail does leave their fawns alone to protect them.  For questions pertaining to fawns or other wildlife in Montgomery Parks, please visit parksnaturalresources.org or call 301-962-1344.
  • For more information on wildlife management and attracting wildlife see HGIC’s May Wildlife tips.

Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC).


See below for upcoming local events in May.


Montgomery Parks Special Events & Festivals

More events are being added regularly. Please check back often!

Additional information on Spring Festivals: Montgomery Parks Announces 2016 Spring Festivals

?Save the date for these upcoming Spring events! Events include Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens, National Public Garden Day at Tudor Place,  Family Archeology Day at Needwood Mansion, World Bonsai Festival, MoCo Spring Fair, Flocks and Farms at Black Hill Visitors Center and more!

Wings of Fancy

Wednesday, April 27 – Sunday, September 25

10 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | Brookside Gardens

$8 ages 13 and up | $5 ages 3-12 | Free ages 0-2wof_butterflies_015

Brookside Gardens is happy to announce the return of its premier Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit. The seasonal display features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can get an up close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.

Friday – Saturday, May 6-7: National Cathedral Flower Mart.


Festival foods, children’s rides, artisanal & boutique gifts and, of course, herbs & flowers. Drawing locals and tourists alike since 1939, this festival of flowers and fun will celebrate All Hallows’ Guild’s centennial of service to the 59 acres of gardens and grounds around Washington National Cathedral. 10-6 on Friday and 10-5 on Saturday. Watch the video!

Friday, May 6: Smithsonian Garden Fest.


May 6: Visitor Appreciation Week and National Public Gardens Day at  Green Spring Gardens. Free gardening discussions, demonstrations or plant giveaways at 11 am and afternoon refreshments.

Friday, May 6: National Public Garden Day at Tudor Place in DC

Enjoy the historic, 5½-acre garden at no charge in honor of National Public Gardens Day! national_public_garden_day_tudor_placeStroll among spring blooms at leisure or join free guided tours. Don’t miss the special Garden Sale — just in time for Mother’s Day — featuring gifts, seeds, and live plants cultivated from heirloom specimens on the estate. Tudor Place is proud to support the American Public Gardens Association by opening our gates on this special day celebrating public gardens’ important role in promoting green spaces, conservation, education, and environmental stewardship.
Garden admission is free, with no registration necessary!

Play the Public Gardens Bingo Game to win prizes!

–from dcgardens.com

  • Guided Garden Tour (free) offered at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
  • Pair your visit with a house tour (at the regular admission price); the day’s final tour begins at 3 p.m.
  • We can be reached by bus, Metro, and bicycle — a great time to try Capital Bikeshare!

2016 Family Archaeology Day at Needwood Mansion

Saturday, May 7
10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Needwood Mansion

$10 per person | $20 per family at the event

family_archeology_dayNeedwood Mansion opens its doors to the public for a day of investigating archaeology. Visitors are invited to see and experience what archaeologists do. Watch Park Archaeologists at work on the Needwood Excavation and try your hand at a simulated excavation, while the younger set digs in mock excavation pits.

Join the costumed interpreters in a tour of the 1854 “Sunnyside” house. Visit the Civil War Surgeon Dr. Stonestreet and soldiers encamped in the yard. An introduction to archaeology for all ages, Family Archaeology Day features

  • 19th century Slave Quarters Dig Exhibit
  • Mansion Tours
  • Simulated Archaeology Dig for Children
  • Storytelling, Old-time games, Hands-on Crafts, and Atl-atl tossing

Bring a bag lunch and stay for the day! Visit HistoryintheParks.org for more information.


Friday – Sunday, May 13-15: World Bonsai Day Festival at the National Arboretum, with the Potomac Bonsai Association.

See full schedule here.



MoCo Spring Fair

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Zimmerman-Ace Field
4101 Sandy Spring Rd
Burtonsville, MD 20866

Cost: $29


Bring your family and celebrate warmer weather
Weekday evenings and all day Saturday in Burtonsville, Maryland.
Wednesday May 18 – 5 PM to 9 PM

Buy Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristbands.
The BEST in Family-Friendly FUN!
Carnival Rides & Games

Save on Ride Wristbands at MoCoSpringFair.org
Visitors to this site use Coupon Code: EarlyVMCTicketSave40%

 Flocks and Farms at Black Hill Visitors Center

Saturday, May 22


1 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Black Hill Visitors Center

FREE | All Ages

Join the Maryland Bluebird Society and Black Hills Nature Programs for a celebration of the conservation success stories of the Eastern Bluebird and Montgomery County’s very own Agriculture Reserve.

Learn how you can help bluebirds and other cavity-nesters and meet vendors, farmers and organizations based in the Ag Reserve, which was created to benefit both people and wildlife.

We will have hands on activities, games, lectures, exhibits, crafts and more!

More Info