May in the garden: all the works

May in the garden: all the works

May is a rich month for our garden: temperatures are now stable and in most of the gardens there is no longer a risk of late frosts. The crops planted in spring take on consistency and the garden becomes green and luxuriant.

May is also a month of sowing and, above all, of transplants, so you have to roll up your sleeves before the summer heat arrives to set up a vegetable garden that you can produce in the following months.

Some earlier vegetables or those sown early thanks to the seedbed will be ready to harvest. And then, given the mild but generally quite rainy climate, there will certainly be weeding to keep the garden beds clean of weeds.

It is worth checking our calendar of works to find out everything that needs to be done in the garden in May. The works to be done in May are varied, including both ordinary maintenance, with operations such as weeding from spontaneous herbs, and occasional cultivation operations such as hilling or pruning.

Keep the vegetable garden in order

Thin out the seedlings. Where we have sown it may be appropriate to thin out the seedlings: if they sprout too close, it is necessary to intervene by removing some of them to maintain the right distances recommended for each vegetable. It will be an opportunity to select the most promising seedlings, those that are removed in many cases (as with all leafy vegetables) can be put in soup or salad.

Weed control. Nature flourishes, not only cultivated but also spontaneous flora. The May weather, with warm sun and frequent rains, is ideal for growing various herbs. For this reason, a job to do is often weeding between crops. We carefully keep the flower beds in our garden clean in order to have it productive, but without being obsessive that a little biodiversity can do you good. A tool of great help in this trade is the weeder.

Mulch. In May, different crops can be mulched, to avoid having to weed too much and also to keep the soil more humid in anticipation of the coming summer heat. Generally, mulch cloth is used before transplanting, or straw is spread among the horticultural plants.

Crop operations in May

Supports. As the plants grow it is advisable to think about their supports, many crops need them. In particular, the supports are used for plants with indeterminate growth or climbing plants and for vegetables that bear fruit of good size and weight. For these crops it is therefore necessary to prepare the correct poles, nets and ties, so that they can hold the plants in the correct position, ensuring that they have the opportunity to produce and receive the right sunlight.

Pruning of tomatoes. On tomato plants it is useful to perform a very simple pruning operation, which consists in detaching the axillary shoots that form between the shoot and the productive branches. These appendages do not flower, which is why they are removed with a job traditionally called sfemminiellatura or scacchiatura, it is a green pruning similar to that which is done in many plants in the orchard. The armpit is very easy to distinguish and can be easily removed by hand. For further information you can read how to remove the seed of the tomato.

Reinforcements. In May, some plants can be tucked up, bringing the earth back to their base, in particular the work is carried out on the potatoes.

Harvest in May. There are several vegetables that we can harvest in May: liliaceae (garlic and onions), different salads such as rocket and lettuce, beets, carrots, peas and broad beans.

Defense of the vegetable garden

Beware of insects. If you want to grow a good organic garden, the most important thing is to always keep the health of the plants under control. Not wanting to use toxic insecticides, you have to catch pest attacks in time and prevent them if possible. In May it is absolutely necessary to check for the presence of Colorado beetle on potatoes, on humid days you have to pay close attention to attacks by snails and squabbles. It is also useful to check that there are no aphids on the plants, also pay attention to the ants that raise them and carry them around the garden. In general, it may be a good practice to prepare food traps to catch insects such as moths or fruit flies: usually the first generations fly between May and June, if they are intercepted, the problem of parasites can be greatly reduced.

Prepare natural insecticides. It is also worth having natural insecticides ready for use, so that you can react promptly to any problems. For example, I recommend buying neem oil, which is a very low toxicity product, effective against various types of parasites. Natural macerates (garlic, nettle, chilli, tansy) can also help.

Prevent and fight diseases. The rains combined with a mild climate can mean the best conditions for the proliferation of spores and bacteria, which give rise to problems for the garden. Any preventive treatments, even natural ones (such as horsetail macerate) must be done precisely to prevent these adversities.

The sowings and transplants of May

Sowing. In May there are many summer vegetables that can be sown (see all the May sowings in detail). Most of the sowing is done in the open field, in the open seedbed we can prepare the cabbage seedlings.

Transplants. In May we are ready to put the seedlings in the ground bread in the garden, it is the ideal time for many vegetables: especially cucurbits and solanaceae (watermelons, melons, pumpkins, courgettes, tomatoes, aubergines, alchechengi, ...). You can consult the transplant calendar of the month to see all the possible crops to be planted.

Video: Gardening 101: How To Start A Garden