May Lawn and Garden Tips

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Weed Control

Control weeds prior to planting vegetables and flowers. Glyphosate is a common post-emergent weed killer that has no soil activity which allows you to plant very soon after spraying. It is also possible to use certain pre-emergent herbicides in the garden as well. Treflan, which contains the active ingredient Trifluralin is labeled for both ornamental and some vegetables. In ornamental plantings you can utilize Snapshot or Surflan as well as others to prevent weeds. Grass killers such as Poast which contain the active ingredient Sethoxydim can be sprayed directly on most broadleaf crops and only kill the grass and not your crop. One can also keep ahead of weeds during the growing season by simply hoeing frequently in the top inch of soil to prevent new seeds from germinating. As an alternative, corn gluten can be used as an organic way to prevent weeds from sprouting and covering the garden with a good mulch once the soil has warmed up will reduce weeds as well organically.

Bedding Plants

Frost-sensitive bedding plants can be safely planted in May. Make sure to tease out the roots of the plants to prevent circling roots.


Clumps of Cannas should be divided every three or four years to encourage flowering. Set root sections 5-6” deep, 15” apart.


Watch plants carefully for evidence of aphids and spray as needed. (Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or chemicals are available). These aphids are responsible for the black sooty mold often seen on Crape myrtles later in the season. If powdery mildew occurs, apply sulfur based fungicides or Immunox fungicide which provides good control. Also be on the look out for “sawdust straws” sticking out of the tree. This is evidence of ambrosia beetle damage. The prognosis of places once infected is poor.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy can be eliminated with multiple sprays of Glyphosate or a product containing 2-4d which is a broad leaf weed killer. Do not apply herbicides on a windy day to prevent injury to desirable plants. Goats are a good natural way to eliminate this troublesome weed.


It’s time to hang up hummingbird feeders. Any feeder can attract hummingbirds, so the most important design feature to look for is ease of disassembly and cleaning. Hummingbirds get the energy they need to maintain their astonishing metabolism primarily from flower nectar and the sugar water they find at feeders. For protein and other nutrients, they also eat soft-bodied insects and spiders. The sugar water we use to fill hummingbird feeders is only a supplement to the birds’ natural diet. It’s not necessary but a commercial “nectar” mix that includes additional vitamins, protein, or other substances can be helpful. Do not put honey, Jell-O, brown sugar, fruit, or red food coloring in your feeder!

*The use of brand names in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service of the products or services named nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.*

BlackBerry Orange Rust

If you see an orange substance on the backs of your blackberry leaves it is Orange Rust. This can kill leaves and cause a reduced crop. It will persist from year to year so if you have an infection it is best to destroy the infected plants. It’s also important to remove all wild blackberries that may be harboring the fungus. There are no effective chemical controls at this time. There are other rust pathogens that can attack blackberry plants that normally show up in stem cracks, but these are not terminal and can be controlled with fungicide sprays such as Immunox general purpose fungicide or copper fungicide as an organic alternative.

Spring Bulbs

Do NOT cut back spring bulb foliage until it turns yellow and brown. This foliage makes the food for the bulb to bloom next year.


You can prune your rhododendron/azaleas after they finish flowering. Be sure to spray under the leaves of your azaleas with soapy water or horticultural oils to kill lace bugs which will turn the leaves a grey color. You can also utilize a systemic insecticide such as imidacloprid which will eliminate the need to spray the backs of the leaves. Remember if you spray after the blooms fall off you will not be hurting the bees!


Aphids vary in color from green, black, brown, red, pink, etc. They are soft-bodied insects and they suck sap from their needle-like mouthparts from buds, leaves, twigs and developing fruit. Leaves may be stunted and distorted and fruit may become misshapen. They can be found along stems or on the underside of a leaf.
One of the Aphid’s natural predators is the lady bug. Nonchemical removal of these pests includes washing them off the plant with a steady stream of water or spraying soapy water on the leaves. Repeat again in 3-4 days to catch any survivors. Chemical removal includes spraying Pyrethrins or Malathion.

NC State University and NC A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color,
creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.