What to do in the garden in May?
1. Plant tomato plants—Tomato seeds are often started on the window sill by gardeners that can’t wait to get going. Because they have been started too early or the light is not sufficient these plants may grow spindly. It is best to get some sturdy plants from the garden center. When purchasing tomatoes you will note that labels say ‘determinate’ or ‘indeterminate’. The determinate plant grows to a certain size, then flowers and fruits; then they are finished producing. These are good for a container garden. Indeterminate tomatoes will continue growing, flowering and fruiting until the frost comes. Remember to put the tomato cage on as soon as they are planted because they often grow very quickly.
2. Plant peppers— Peppers do best started in the garden from plants. These seem to grow well in full sun. When they begin to flower, fertilizing will help to increase production. Have you ever heard the "old wives tale" that if different colored pepper plants are planted next to each other then they will cross pollinate and all the peppers will come out the same color? Well this isn't quite true. Cross pollination will not effect the color of the peppers but it might effect the seeds of those peppers and if those seed are planted those peppers may come out a different color.
3. Plant Beans - Beans germinate quickly so you can plant the seed directly in the ground this month. If you choose to plant bush beans you don’t need a structure! Pole beans do need something to climb though.
4. Plant lettuce -hopefully you have already planted lettuce and had a harvest or two. The great thing about lettuce is that it germinates quickly! One of the things I like to do is plant lettuce plants at the end of each row of lettuce seed, so I know where they are coming up.
5. Plant peas –Peas need something to climb! Peas also germinate quickly. These are great to plant with children because the pea seeds are a nice big seed, good for small hands. Just plant them about an inch deep. They will start to peek up out of the ground in about 7 days! Children also love to pick these! It’s a great way to get the children in your life excited about growing plants, eating vegetables, and to notice the world around them. Be sure to plant them close to a fence or put up a trellis netting or anything to climb. (Just click on the pea picture below to see the trellis netting set that we sell.)
6. Plant squash— Squash is easy to grow from seed and also germinate quickly! When you plant squash put 4 or 5 seeds in a mound of soil and water, plant the next squash 5 or 6 ft apart. Squash takes up a lot of space! There are some compact bush varieties available.
If you don’t have a lot of space most of this can be planted in pots!