What to Do in the Garden in May
In zone 7 the garden is really picking up in May. Find out more about what needs to be done in the garden during this time of year.
What to do in the garden in May
May is prime garden season in Oklahoma. If there are any plants that could be damaged from a light frost such as tomatoes, peppers and basil, it’s time to finally get them in the ground. The heat loving veggies will be going in by seed in April or May, and the heat will start setting in causing the summer vegetables and flowers in the garden to start growing like mad.
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Check your zone here and find out when your last average frost date is so you can plan your garden.
Spring gardening tasks for zone 7
Once the garden gets going around this time of year, you’ll need to start watching for weeds. Weed early and often to prevent the late summer takeover of Bermuda grass and other naughty weeds in your garden. If you’re new to gardening, check out this article on beginning gardening.
Mulching is another garden chore in May. Once your seedlings or plants get to be 4-6 inches tall, heavily mulch around them to conserve moisture in your garden and prevent weeks from coming up everywhere. Be careful not to mulch too closely to the stems of the plants, or bury the leaves.
Make sure your water source is in place. If you’ve been getting consistent rain for the garden, now may be the time when it slows down and you have to begin watering the garden manually.
Set up your compost area. If you plan to compost in your garden, now is the time to get the composter set up and start working it.
What vegetables to plant now
Seedlings or small plants that can be transplanted in May are cucumbers and summer squash. Other plants that should be planted only as seedlings and not direct seeded that can be planted in May are, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos.
If you plan to buy seedlings, wait until you have the garden ready to buy them. Seedlings in their small pots take a lot of care and they can get forgotten easily. You’ll save yourself a lot of work by waiting until you’re ready to plant to buy them. Make sure the plants look healthy and green, don’t have any wilted or brown spots and don’t have any signs of bugs.
Some plants grow another way, such as sweet potatoes and they can be planted in May as well. Sweet potatoes grow from a slip or a small plant that grows off a whole sweet potato. You can get sweet potato slips in stores or from online catalogs.
May garden chores
If you choose to use fertilizer in your garden, now is the time to apply it. Also, clean up any dead debris that may be leftover from last year and toss it in the compost.
Lastly, may is a great time to clean up your garden containers and pots and get them planted with some pretty flowering plants to beautify your landscape even more. If you’re planting in Oklahoma, chose plants that are drought and heat tolerant. These plants will also attract more pollinators to your vegetable garden and we all need that.
May is one of the most fun times in the garden with lots of hope and promise for big harvests in the months to come. You may be harvesting peas, radishes, onions, and carrots now as well as cabbage, kohlrabi, greens, and broccoli and cauliflower. It’s a wonderful time of the year!
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