Friday, May 04, 2012

Mom's May Garden Tips

May Garden Tips
The weather has finally warmed up and now everyone is anxious to get their garden planted.  My cool-weather crops like cabbage, onions, and peas have survived the two freezes and are looking much better.   The potatoes are sprouting new leaves as the previous one got bite by the late freeze.
 If you started any plants from seeds, they should be transplanted to the garden this month.  I have found that not all plants, however like to go into the garden in early May.   So at the beginning of the month (May 3-10) I plant green beans.  For a continuous production, I sow seeds every 14 days.  I plant sweet corn (which sometimes I do a first planting in late April).   Since corn is wind-pollinated, it should be planted in blocks of at least four rows rather than in long single rows. By planting early, mid, and late-season varieties you can extend the harvest over several weeks. If you can plant corn on the north side of the garden it will prevent it from shading nearby crops.   I plant my rows north and south.   You can always plant turnips, and a more beets, carrots, lettuce, and radishes. 
After the middle of the month which is usually after Mother’s Day, I plant tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, pumpkins, and limas.   I save the watermelon and muskmelon plants and sweet potatoes towards the end of the month (Memorial Day).
Transplants benefit from started fertilizer.   Apply fertilizer in the water that plants receive after planting.   Sometimes I just work 10-10-10 into the ground around the transplant and water well.    Remember plants will need about 1 inch of water per week.
Harvest the first radishes, lettuce, and green onions.   Keep picking the rhubarb and asparagus so they will keep producing.   When the asparagus spears diminish in size, stop picking and let the plants grow.  Rhubarb will produce all summer if it has enough water and fertilizer, so I give it 10-10-10 every month. 
Black Raspberries need to get their second feeding of plant food this month also.   They should start producing around July 4th.

Gardening has been such a big part of the family tradition that I thought I'd better get as much information written down from mom and dad as soon as possible to pass on.

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