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University of Minnesota Extension

May Gardening

May is the time to plant our gardens.  Hopefully the seeds and plants are bought and some basic plans are started. 

            When I was young my Dad would take the tractor and plow into the lawn and plow the garden.  Some would do major tillage with a spade.  Now with farmers and gardeners greatly reducing the amount of tillage to start a garden the major work of the hardest part of gardening is reduced.  This helps the seniors to keep gardening a bit longer. 

            We still do need to bury old stems and leaves.  As far as leaves go, I have found that I do not bring excess tree leaves to the curb anymore.  They are simply too good of fertilizer to throw away.  I have grown some amazing plants with this natural fertilizer.  Leaves also do not have the risk of herbicides that lawn clippings can have if one has sprayed the lawn the previous year. 

            What farmers call crop rotation is also worthwhile. Simply put, plant diseases and bugs do not do as well if they do not have the same host plants the next year.  If your garden has a specific problem from the year before, switch to as different a plant as possible in the problem area the following year.  Last year I literally watched the earwigs run from one part of the garden to another so crop rotation does not always work well.  But we try to do our best.

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