Works in the Garden in May

Requested by one of our readers was an article about maintenance works throughout the year.

I thought it would be nice to make a monthly series out of this.
This is part 5, in which I talk about the works in May. You can find the other parts here: 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Because the life of a gardener is tied to the weather and seasons, it is essential to note the weather during the month described.

Japan is a long island, stretching from the North-East to the South-West and crosses several degrees of latitude. Plus it has a mountain range running from north to south, which will create different weathers in the west and east.
I will start each article with the average weather of that month focussing on Tokyo and Kyoto if possible.

The weather in May:
May is a very nice month with warm temperatures without being too hot and without mosquitoes.
The temperatures ranging from 23 °C (73°F)during the day to 15 °C (59°F) during the nights and we have six hours of average sunshine each day.

Works, which will be done in May:

Midoritsumi
This is the most time-consuming work in Japanese gardens in May. The new shoots of pine trees need to be reduced and shortened. This is traditionally done by hand on each tree.

Pruning
When the Azaleas’ bloom is over, it is time to cut them back. The pruning style of azalea bushes is called karikomi and done with manual hedge trimming scissors. For the final touch, even smaller scissors are used.

Weeding
In April and May, the weeds start to grow very fast and the gardeners are busy with reducing them. Especially some sorts of creeping vines can overgrow whole bushes if no action is taken.

Lawn care
In May, the lawn care continues. In Japan, a special grass is used. You can read more about it here.
Right before the rainy season, which will start in June, is the ideal timing to plant new Japanese lawn.

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