Thursday, May 14, 2015

May Garden Plans

May is the busy month in the garden. The to-do list is long but without the heat of summer, gardening is a delight.

With our cold April, some tasks were delayed. Our asparagus didn't start until May this year. But once May arrived the weather quickly warmed and we've enjoyed lots of sunshine.

But it might sound like we are never satisfied with the weather because we are very dry. Tilling the garden uncovers dust. I don't ever remember such a dry May. I have already had to drag out the hoses and water. Often we don't need to water until mid-summer, if at all. Hopefully the rains will begin soon or it will be a long summer.

(the potato patch)

Last week my garden was a disaster. I really didn't want to write this post and share photos of my garden in that state. About half of the garden was covered with tall weeds. I had tried to work in it a little but it was too bad for me to tackle on my own. But on Saturday evening Ed tilled the garden. I told him that it was the best Mother's Day gift I could have received. He hilled up the potatoes and we were able to mulch them this week so hopefully the weeds won't reappear. I was also able to plant most of the garden vegetables.

(our main garden)

Here is my list of garden tasks for this month in my zone 6 garden. Your goals may vary depending on your garden and your area of the country. I'm about halfway through with my list but the weeding and mulching will keep my busy the rest of the month.

1. Plant beans and corn, as well as another planting of greens. 

(broccoli, lettuce, beets, and tomatoes)

2. Plant tomato plants early to mid May. Tomatoes like 50 degree soil. Cooler temperatures, day or night, will slow their growth. Just because the air is warm doesn't mean the soil is warm. I like to plant as deeply as possible, only letting the first two or three sets of leaves above ground. Roots will grow along the stem and promote a healthier plant.

Plant eggplant and pepper plants in mid to late May. These really enjoy warm weather and should not be planted until the soil is 60 degrees day and night. I have found that it is not worth trying to rush pepper plants. Cold weather will stunt them.

3. Plant flowering annual plants and 
sow flower seeds such as zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, and marigolds directly in soil.

4. Finish dividing perennials flowers and pinch back the mums and fall blooming sedums.

(another view of the potato patch)

5. Hill and mulch potatoes.

6. Plant vine crops such as pumpkins, squash, and watermelon.
Vines love the heat and prefer the soil to be 85 degrees before planting so I'm not in a rush! Some folks fork in manure or compost and cover with black plastic to warm up the ground for a few weeks before planting.
I have never tried it but would like to.

 Mulch. The secret of a weed free garden! Covering our garden with grass clippings has been a huge time saver in the summer! As soon as the seeds are up enough to see the rows, we put a thin layer of grass clippings between the rows. We add to it as the summer progresses. This also helps to conserve water.

(new strawberry plants, carrots, and onions)

So what are your goals this May in your garden? 


  1. Hello Gina, I garden in a similar zone to you, in Norway, and it sounds like we are at a similar stage of planting to you. We had some warmth in April but it has been cold since. I was also watering earlier, on dust dry soil, but no need now! Heavy rain after heavy rain. Could you please explain about pinching back the sedums? These grow well in my shady northern bed, but I've never done anything to them except cutting back the dead flower heads earlier in the spring. My goals this month are to keep on with the weeding! I've moved a couple of gooseberry bushes that were unhappy where they were, and thinned out the strawberry runners and rhubarb beds, giving these spare plants to friends. Next I really want to sow some sunflowers, but I am waiting until the weather warms up again. Happy days, Gill

    1. Gill-
      Thanks for sharing. I love to hear about other's gardens!

      The short sedums I do nothing to but I have some tall sedums that tend to flop over with their tall flower heads. I have found that if I trim them off in May, they grow back shorter and stockier and don't fall over as badly.
      Happy Gardening,

  2. I really encourage you to watch the Back to Eden
    It is no till and hardly any weeding. We love it. Just wish we would have started this method a long time ago.

  3. Your tulips (I think?) look wonderful!! I spent the day weeding the veggie beds, and laying more weed screen down. I also attempted to hand-polanate my yellow squash flowers. I have many blooms now, but I don't see any bees! I watched some videos on Youtube, and hope I did the deed. Time will tell!


I love to hear from you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails