Get ready to dig in: Spring is coming — and gardening — on the way

If you are like most of us adults, your calendar seems packed with activities. Perhaps your to-do list is getting longer as spring warms you with sunshine. I hope you can squeeze in time to join us at the 11th Annual Garden Celebration.

I know you’ll find it to be worth your while. The Johnson County Garden Club and Purdue Master Gardner volunteers have planned another fantastic event for this Saturday.

Scott Hall on the fairgrounds will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is $2. There will be five speakers teaching on topics such as trees, growing flowers to cut, vegetable gardening and local foods. Come ready to shop for plants, garden tools, decorations and more. You can also buy great food at the Garden Café inside.

Recently I switched from one cellphone device to another. Everything that I had stored in my digital calendar did not transfer over. I had lots of important things in there, such as “plant canna bulbs,” “buy shrubs,” “work compost into the soil,” “prune ornamental grasses.” I guess I’ll just have to listen to what nature is telling me instead of looking at my phone’s calendar.

But I will say that the specialists in Purdue’s Consumer Horticulture section have developed some very helpful guides on what to do with all your plants during each month.

Check out their May list at

For example, here are some yard tasks to start thinking about:

Plant balled-and-burlapped or container nursery stock, and water thoroughly.

Remove and destroy overwintering bagworms from landscape trees and shrubs.

Follow a spray schedule to keep home-orchard crops pest free. While trees are in bloom, use fungicide sprays without insecticide to avoid injury to bees. Follow label directions.

If you are going to fertilize your lawn in May, apply ¾ to 1 pound N/1,000 square foot with a product that contains 50 percent or more slow-release fertilizer.

Pinch chrysanthemums and annual flower plants to keep them compact and well-branched.

Make successive plantings of green beans and sweet corn to extend the season of harvest.

Thin seedlings of early planted crops such as carrots, lettuce, spinach and beets to their proper spacing.

Remove unwanted sucker growth in raspberries when new shoots are about a foot tall.

As a head’s up, at 6:30 p.m. on May 19, I’ll be hosting Purdue Extension Wildlife Specialist Brian MacGowan.

He will be giving a talk about ways to deal with wildlife causing damage to your garden, lawn, crops, etc.

This free program will take place in Heritage Hall on the fairgrounds. Please RSVP to me at 736-3724 or