May is a very busy month for gardeners. It’s the time for plowing and amending soil, transplanting seedlings, planting seeds, setting out mature plants, battling weeds and a host of other garden-related things. What are May gardening tips?
The weather also starts to become warmer and more predictable in May, making garden chores easier to accomplish. So put on your garden gloves and boots and get ready to go play in the dirt with these May gardening tips.
Plow and Amend Soil
Plow (till, turn, however you work the soil) in the garden to the depth of 10-12 inches (25 cm to 30 cm). Add 3 inches (7 cm to 8 cm) of compost and lightly till that into the soil.
Compost will make the soil more fertile, help soil retain water, promote better drainage and aerate the soil so tiny plant roots can spread out easier.
Most of us like to start favorite seeds indoors a few weeks before the end of winter. (Why not??)
It helps us scratch our gardener’s itch and start growing plants, plus it gives us a head start on the spring garden season. If you have seedlings, May is the time to transplant them into the garden.
Frost danger has past and the temperature has warmed up sufficiently so the seedlings can be safely transplanted into the outdoor garden.
The real fun time starts here!
Plant corn, beans, squash, potatoes, eggplant, okra, cucumber, etc., now so you can start harvesting fresh food by mid-June.
Plant seeds every two weeks until mid-June so you can extend the harvest throughout the summer. It will keep you occupied with busy gardening work for a while!
Set out tomato and pepper plants in May. This is also a good month for planting fruit bushes and trees. How about your favorite berry trees?
Get those summer annuals planted and flower beds going with seeds or plants this month.
If you have perennials that need to be divided, such as dahlias, hosta, daylilies, now is the time to divide them!
Prune spring blooming shrubs, like azaleas, in May to prevent cutting off next year’s buds.
When the weather turns warm, the weeds will emerge.
Get a head start on the weeds by pulling them up by the roots as soon as they emerge in May.
Use a small Asian hand-held cultivator to pop the weeds out of the soil by the roots. This is easily done right after some rain.
Don’t add weeds to the compost pile because they may contain seeds that will germinate!
If you use a pre-emergence weed killer on the lawn, May is the month to apply it.
Let’s try some of these May gardening tips!