May is the peak time for warm weather crops. Several plants have finished flowering, while others are ready to be planted.
Some of the frost-sensitive plants that could not be planted in April can be planted safely in the garden in May. The temperature acclimated indoor plants can be permanently moved to the outdoor garden.
The list of plants for May includes edibles, flowering species, evergreens. May is a great month to kick start your summer garden. Some of our recommendations for this month are given below.
What to Plant in May
Edible plants that are best to grow in May include basil, parsley, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, corn, and strawberries thrive during this month. If you’re into flowering plants, snapdragons, marigolds, sweet alyssum, and lavender are your best bet.
Basil is a culinary herb that is native to different regions from central Africa to Asia. Growing basil does not require any special skills, and anyone can grow it in their backyard.
You can sow the basil seeds on the ground once the last frost’s passed. It’s one of the plants that are easiest to grow from seeds.
Later on, you can sow seeds every month to have a fresh batch of basils in your herb garden.
Basil is an excellent herb variety that appreciates long hours of full sun exposure. Humidity should be between 40-60%. Most vegetable gardeners grow basil in their kitchens.
The basil has a refreshing fragrance, so whether you keep it in your kitchen, greenhouse, or garden, it will fill the air with an herbal scent.
Parsley comes from the Mediterranean regions, and it’s grown as a herb for its versatility and nutrients (filled with vitamin K). The three common varieties of Parley are curled leaf, flat-leaf and Italian.
Parsley is a slow grower, but once the growing conditions are right, it will thrive throughout the season.
Even if you are starting the parsley indoors, do not let the plantings remain root-bound for too long. If your region has mild weather in May, I would suggest planting the parsley directly in the garden
Although it’s a cool-season crop, you can still enjoy growing it in the mild weather of May. If you are sure that there is no risk of frost damage, you can transplant young cabbage seedlings directly to the garden.
This annual vegetable is available in red, green, and white colors. If you sow the seeds in early May, the cabbage head will be ready for harvest in fall.
Cabbage needs rich soil to produce the healthiest heads, so fertilize it every two weeks during active growth. It also likes soil temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 18.3 degrees Celsius).
There are many varieties of lettuce, but I would recommend planting the fast-growing varieties of lettuce in May. This leafy vegetable belongs to the daisy family. It’s a common accessory in salads.
This is a cool-season crop, but it still needs plenty of sun (at least 6 hours). The lettuce leaves will assist you in deciding if it needs watering or not.
You will see tomatoes growing in every vegetable garden. This vegetable or fruit prefers 8-10 hours of sunlight to produce the best tomatoes.
You can harvest the fruit within 60-100 days, depending on what tomato variety you’re doing.
This plant has a long growing season, so I would recommend choosing disease-resistant varieties for home gardening.
You should also change the location of the tomato crop every year to minimize disease spread.
The ideal temperature range for these heat-loving plants is 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 to 29.4 degrees Celsius). The humidity level should also be around 70%.
There are about 5,000 varieties of this vegetable. These are edible tubers that grow throughout the year.
This root vegetable likes consistently moist soil because incorrect watering can result in cracked tubers.
You can plant potatoes in early May when the soil temperature is about 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 13 degrees Celsius). You can cool down the soil temperature for potatoes by mulching.
You will have to perform hilling to avoid exposing the tubers to the sun. Tubers exposed to sunlight are green in color and have a bitter taste.
The potato tubers can be harvested when the flowers and leaves at the top are dead.
This warm-season crop hates the frost and cold weather. Gardeners have discovered that the seeds will take approximately 10 days to germinate, so corn can be easily planted 10 days before the last frost date.
This time will vary depending on your zone, so make sure you know the last frost date for your region.
You should avoid starting corn indoors because the roots dislike being disturbed, so transplanting them in the garden will be an issue.
Corn will thrive in temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 and 26.6 degrees Celsius).
Late May is the best time to plant Okra or the lady’s finger. This vegetable is frost tender and needs a warm atmosphere for growth. It’s one of the plants that thrive in full sun.
You can harvest this when the vegetable is 2-3 inches long. Based on my experience, the first harvest is after 60 days of planting.
With the green vegetable and white blooms, this plant looks lovely among other homegrown vegetables. But it’s vulnerable to pests like aphids, stink bugs, and corn earworms.
You can also add fruits to your summer garden. The easiest one is strawberries.
There are 3 main varieties to try: Everbearing, Day-neutral, and June-bearing strawberries.
Strawberries will grow in any soil type (pH between 5.5 and 7), but they need 6-10 hours of direct sunlight for fruit production.
They should be planted in such a way that the crown remains at the soil surface, not below the soil.
Other than sunlight, they also need lots of water. They should be watered regularly during the blooming season so that the shallow root system stays moist.
I’d also suggest adding slow-release fertilizer to promote fruit growth. Feeding will help you produce a large number of tasty strawberries.
This plant is also known as the dragon flower, and it comes from Europe, North Africa, and America. There are about 20 species in this plant genus, also known as Antirrhinum.
This flowering plant can tolerate cold temperatures, so it can be planted in early May. The spikey flowers in white, orange and pink will show up throughout the summer season.
You have to keep the soil moist for the first few weeks after planting, and the air temperature should be around 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 23.8 degrees Celsius).
The small varieties can reach a maximum size of 15 inches (0.3 m), whereas the large ones can reach a maximum size of 45 inches (1.1 m).
There are 50 species, and the bright-colored flowers of this plant can cheer up your mood and garden. Gardeners recommend planting marigolds among vegetables, fruits, and herbs to avoid bug infestations.
Do not water the marigolds with the overhead watering method because the water will remain in the fluffy flowers and foliage.
Give them full sun, and they will soon reach 12 inches as maximum size. Marigolds will bloom continuously from late spring to autumn.
This plant belongs to the sunflower family, and the flowers will definitely bring the sun to your garden.
This European native is a cool-season flowering plant. So if the temperature in your region is still cool in May, you can add this to your landscape.
This low-growing plant will reach a maximum size of 6 inches only, but it’s loved for the clusters of flowers. These flowers come in shades of pink, white, yellow, and purple.
If you start it from seeds, the germination will take 15 to 20 days, and the blooms will start appearing in June. The Sweet Alyssum will continue blooming until October.
The best blooms are produced when the plant receives 6-8 hours of full sun.
Some of the popular varieties are Snow Crystals, New Carpet of Snow, Pastel Carpet, and Easter Bonnet.
The long-lasting scented flowers make lavenders a must-have in your flower garden. Lavender should be planted in a well-draining soil mixture that has organic matter.
Planting them in a raised or sloped soil bed is the best for this herb. This aromatic plant is also used to make essential oils.
Lavender thrives with full sun but needs shade from the hot mid-day sun.
Lavender has several varieties. The famous ones are Spanish Lavender(deep purple flowers), French Lavender(light purple flowers), English Lavender (pink blue, purple and white flowers), and Lavandin(white and dark purple flowers).
Did you know that you can store the dry flowers in small sachets for the fragrance?
If you maintain the correct growing conditions, this perennial will come back every year and last for several years.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.