From the Farm: May

By Eve Springwood Minson

The month of May might just be the busiest month in the garden! There is so much to do, but never enough time to do it, at least not to do it like those magazine gardens we’ve been looking at all winter.
In order to be most effective, try making a list. This will allow you to prioritize and then enjoy the world around you while getting some work done. No other month is as transformative as May and it’s worth slowing down to take in all the beauty.
My priority list looks something like this:
• Get vegetable garden ready – spread and dig in compost, rake out beds, plant seeds for early cool-season crops, such as peas, spinach, lettuce, kale, carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, etc. Broccoli and collard plants can be planted now, too.
• Clean up perennial gardens and add compost. Treat yourself to a few new plants from local garden centers to replace plants that may have died or to fill new space you’ve made.
• Leave some room for colorful annuals as fillers throughout the gardens including the veg garden. Some of my favorites are nasturtiums, marigolds, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, and Mexican sunflowers.
• Purchase warm season veg transplants like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and basil – unless you’ve grown them from seed at home. You can grow cukes, zukes, beans and squash from seed planted directly into the ground.
• Buy straw with which to mulch the veg garden, and shredded hardwood bark mulch for the perennial gardens.
• When frost possibility is past (Mother’s Day as a rule of thumb), plant your warm season plants and bring out houseplants for some extra sun but be careful not to scald them with too much sun too soon.
• Don’t forget to water everything regularly when Mother Nature isn’t doing it.
• Drag out hoses, sort out tools, put air in your wheelbarrow tire and go buy some extra potting soil for annual containers and houseplants
And finally, take a break and look at all you’ve done. It really is spring!