Boy oh boy – May has been a chilly (and windy) month in Seattle! I never intended for this blog to become a “weather column” but it certainly seems to be a common theme in my posts! I never paid any attention to the highs, lows, and precipitation levels of the seasons until I became an edible gardener!
The answer to the above question really should be “what CAN’T you plant” in the garden in May. Spring plant sales inspire us to try new things and sometimes our purchases may even out number the spaces we have to plant them!
All your root crops can be seeded into the soil now; Sow beet and turnip seeds closely and plan to thin out and utilize the baby greens in salads or stir-frys as needed. Sow radishes and carrots in rows next to each other. Since carrots take longer to germinate and grow, those early sprouting radishes will remind you to keep watering the carrots until they germinate (which can take up to three weeks). As you harvest the radishes it will make room for the carrots to spread out.
Those warm season fruiting plants are all getting ready to go outside too! Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer and winter squashes and peppers like the soil to be consistently above 55 degrees, so while we are not there yet, we should be soon! If you want a challenge, try an eggplant or watermelon plant. While these can be hard to grow in our short summers, if you have a nice hot sunny spot, use black pots to get the soil even warmer.
And don’t forget those beans! Shelling beans, pole beans, runner beans, and bush beans can be pre-sprouted inside, or directly sown into the ground. Consider planting a few seeds each week in June for a steady supply of green beans throughout the summer and fall.
For perennial plants that will keep giving year after year, try planting an artichoke or a patch of arugula! So head outside in the yard and enjoy these lighter evenings and get yourself Good to Grow!