May Growing Tips from Master Gardener Dan

Get the most out of your garden! Master Gardener Dan has a few pointers for starting the season strong. 

  1. Starting seeds outside: Late April and early May is when the last frost happens in this area, so it's the perfect time to start your vegetable seeds. If you have a small hoop house or cover, it can help warm up the temperatures to germinate the seeds outside.
  2. Act fast: Lettuces, peas, and radishes should be directly sowed in the soil this month, as they are cold weather crops and tend to bolt in the hot summer months.
  3. Fertilizing: If you're transplanting starts, it is important to sprinkle the fertilizer around the base of the hole when transplanting to encourage the roots to grow down deeper into the soil allowing them to get moisture during the hot dry summer. Continue to fertilize weekly.
  4. Watering: If it's not raining, make sure to water for the first week or so to get your plant established. Then you can cut back. 
  5. Visit often: Check on your plants every day!  That will allow you to notice changes. If the plant starts to look dry, you can water it extra. If you notice slugs, caterpillars or aphids are attaching your plant, you can remove them. I just pick them off and feed them to my ducks or chickens! For aphids, just mix a little dish soap into your water and lightly spray the plant.
  6. Sacrificial plants: It is always a good idea to plant one or more sacrificial plants around the ones you want to protect. I use nasturtium or marigolds. This gives pests something to munch on before making their way to your vegetables, giving you extra time to discover and get rid of the pests.
sign up image
sign up for our e-newsletters