May is all about growth. Warm weather (and warmer soil) help young plants get off to a fast start. You’ll notice rapid changes, especially in the vegetable garden. If you’re planning on planting summer vegetables, now is the time to get them in the ground.
Transplant tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and squash seedlings. Make sure they get enough water, especially if temperatures rise or if the soil is dried out by wind. Irrigate them twice a week by hand.
Plant seeds for melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes and annual herbs such as basil. Keep soil slightly moist (not wet) and they’ll sprout quickly. Hand water for best results.
In the flower garden, it’s time to plant seeds for salvia, sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, celosia and asters. You also can transplant seedlings for many of those flowers.
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To retain moisture, add a layer of insulating mulch around your vegetables and flowers. This also cuts down on weeds. Be sure to leave a small circle around the base of each plant to prevent rotting stems or trunks.
Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions. As the weather warms, lettuce will turn bitter and go to seed.
For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses and other plants.