Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May Gardening Checklist

I spent the day working in my garden yesterday.  I am excited to see it's progress, eager to put more in the ground and satisfied seeing my work to improve my soil is already paying off.  My soil is a very heavy clay, so improving my soil is going to be a constant effort, but one I really enjoy.
 Despite our very late start to our growing season, my lettuce is up and showing it's beautiful colors! I added a few swiss chard plants among the lettuce.  As they grow up together and fill in the space I believe the colors and foliage in these edibles will be just as beautiful as any flowering bed.
 My onion starts are up and growing strong! This makes me happy, happy, happy! I worry that growing onions in this heavy, dense clay will be a huge challenge!  I probably should have added more organic matter to this area...we will see what happens.
 This picture really shows my poor soil conditions.  When these little babies are just a bit bigger, I will be mulching around them with some mulched leaves.  It will help to hold in the moisture and soften the soil.
 In another area on our new property, I have found a large clump of onions growing.  The couple who owned the property last year, kept a large garden where we are planting wildlife forage.  When I found these onions there, I decided to move them up to our veggie garden.  Already we have onions that we can harvest for green onions!
I believe this is the latest I have ever had my baby potatoes pop up! Soon it will be time to hill more soil and mulch around them!

Here is my May checklist for the needs in my garden:

  • Plant perennials and annuals in flower beds.  If the plants are not cold hardy, be prepared to cover them if the temperature continues to dip down to a frost or a freeze.
  • Mulch fruit trees with compost.
  • Spray fruit tree blossoms for pests, as needed.  Please be so careful when doing this! Insecticides do kill the honey bees that pollinate the trees and make us delicious honey. Only use organic pesticide and only if absolutely necessary!
  • Hurry and plant peas and potatoes! You still have a bit of time left for that! Don't have a large space for veggies, no worries! Tuck some snap peas in a flower bed behind a late summer perennial.  It will add a lot of early beauty to that area!

  • Plant beets, lettuce, radishes and spinach.
  • Mid-month, plant carrots and cucumbers.
  • By the month's end, have corn, beans, muskmelons (cantaloupe), squash, watermelon, basil, tomatoes, and peppers all in the ground.
  • Give your broccoli a boost with some organic fertilizer.
  • Thin your lettuce and other early growers.
  • Plant sunflower seeds.
  • Plant any roses, shrubs or trees before the heat of summer sneaks up at the end of the month.
  • Mulch your potatoes and other plants that need a little bit of protection from weeds and drying out.
I want to emphasis that just because you do not have a large space devoted to growing veggies, doesn't mean you can't experience the joy of home-grown produce.  Most edible plants are very beautiful and can very easily be tucked into established flower beds, or planted up close to the house the same as other landscape plants.  Be creative! Plant a double row of corn along a fence row, and add pole beans between.  The corn will support the beans and the beans will give the area some beautiful blooms.  Tomatoes that are properly pruned and staked can fill an bare area in a hot sunny area and still be very beautiful.  Purchasing an heirloom variety can add even more interest with tomatoes that are pink, yellow, purple or even striped.  The easiest edible of all to add to your flower bed are herbs.  They naturally fill in and even bloom if allowed to. Adding just one edible plant to your garden will pay for itself many times over!

No comments:

Post a Comment