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May 2019
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Be careful with tomatoes
I always warn gardeners in May not to plant tomatoes, peppers and other heat-loving crops too early. There have been many seasons where a frost popped up the third week of May. Mom said to wait until Memorial Day, and that’s when my main crop goes in the ground.

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EVENT: Fayette County Home Show
Whether lawn or garden, fruit or ornamental shrubs, Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster reveals simple steps to growing a lush landscape organically.
2 p.m.

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Make sure to water the right way
Water plants in the morning and really soak them in. This will get the plants off to a good start for the day and allow the foliage to dry off. Any plant that’s susceptible to fungal issues — like tomatoes, beans, vine crops, lilac and roses — should never be allowed to have wet leaves overnight.

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Keep adding mulch
Mulch will cover weeds and keep the soil evenly moist. I use straw in my vegetable garden and bark mulch in the ornamental garden. Use whatever you think looks best.

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Thriller-spiller-filler
Plant some containers using the thriller-filler-spiller approach. The thriller is one big, spectacular plant in the center, the filler is a little shorter, and the spiller trails over the edge of the pot.

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EVENT: Penn State Extension Master Gardener Plant Sale
Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster will be speaking at 10 a.m. at the plant sale, which will feature annuals, shrubs, trees, perennials, vegetables and herbs!
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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EVENT: Doug Oster on Heirloom Gardening
Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster will speak about heirloom gardening. The event is sponsored by The Garden Shed, 1824 Walker Farmhouse and the Allegheny Township Historical Society.
2 p.m.

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Split your daffodils
If your daffodils are getting the sun they need but have stopped blooming, it’s time to split them up. Over the years they get crowded under the ground. This is a great time to divide them as we can see exactly where they are. Dig the whole clump and gently tease them apart, saving the biggest blooms to replant. Add compost and Bulbtone to the planting holes to make them thrive.

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Succession planting
After my main planting of tomatoes at the end of the month, I’ll leave room and keep planting all summer. I’ve found that the plants enjoy the warmer soil and air temperatures into June. The key to the last planting of tomatoes in early July is to choose quick maturing varieties like ‘Sungold’ or ‘Red Racer.’

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Keep adding lettuce
Keep planting lettuce and other greens every few weeks to ensure a continual harvest well into summer, too.

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Take care of those birds
Don’t stop feeding the birds. Even though there are plenty of pests around for them to hunt and feed to their babies, they still can use a little help from us. In turn, they will continue to help us by eating the insects.

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Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”