2021 May Vegetable Gardening Tips
Ira Wallace Southern Exposure Seed Exchange & Author of Grow Great Vegetables in Virginia
Keep Weeding and Thinning
When May comes around it’s time to start weeding and thinning. Thin your beets and carrots 2 weeks after they emerge to keep them growing vigorously. To keep the weeds under control and save your aching back, lightly scuffle hoe regularly on sunny days and hand weed when the ground is moist. . Learn more about The Importance of Thinning from our blog post.
Add Beans, Corn and Cucumbers to Succession Plantings
Start sowing heat resistant lettuces like Sierra and summer greens such as Malabar spinach, orach and Rainbow chard. Add beans, corn, cukes, and squash to succession plantings. When the soil warms at the end of May sow peanuts, okra, edamame, sweet potatoes and other hot weather crops. Learn More about Sowing Summer Crops Straight into the Ground.
Time to Transplant Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant and More!
Mid-month transplant tomatoes, celery, and peppers into mulch to keep ahead on weeding.. Plant eggplants into bare soil for better control of flea beetles. If needed a bucket made sticky on the inside with tangle foot makes a nice trap for flea beetles..Put the bucket under your plant and . just shake’em in.
Hill your potatoes when they are 8 inches high. Cover half the plant and repeat at 2 week intervals thru May. Keep an eye out for Colorado Potato Beetles on your potatoes. Pick them by hand or use BT to control them. Remove the scapes and keep your garlic weeded to get the largest bulbs. This might be a good time to remove the mulch from your garlic as well. Download our Perennial Onion and Garlic Growing Guide to learn more about growing these delicious Alliums in your garden.
Delicious, Nutritious Homegrown Sweet Potatoes
We just started planting sweet potato slips and will continue planting thru mid-June. Tasty, easy to grow sweet potatoes are one the most nutritious vegetable commonly grown in home gardens, low in fat and sodium but high in fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamins A and C. Start growing your own orange, purple or white sweet potatoes now! For growing details see our Sweet Potato Growing Guide..