It is May and you have probably already started planting your summer garden, which is fantastic! Now that the weather is getting warmer there are lots to do between planting, weeding, and other maintenance around the garden. May is the time to fill in your outdoor space and containers with wonderful plants. I still have a bunch of bulbs that I am going to plant this month. If you are still looking for ideas of what to plant, we have some suggestions you can look over.
Here are 6 plants you can try growing in May:
Gladiolus – Gladiolus is a flowering plant that is a member of the Iris family. This old-fashioned flower has grown in popularity again. The easy to grow plant has long flower spikes that will bring vertical interest to your garden. The flowers have ruffles on them and are available in many colors and are often sold in mixed colors. They grow 3 to 8 feet depending on the variety. They bloom in the summer. Gladiolus plants thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. They will bloom in shade, but the flowers will be smaller, and the flower stalks will be floppy.
Sunflower - While they are often grown for their impressive flowers they are also cultivated for their edible seeds. Regardless, of how they are classified as a flower or edible this is a fun plant to grow! They got their name as during the day the flowers always turn to face the sun. The plants are not fussy about soil conditions but do benefit from mulch and a little extra water in dry spaces. It is relatively pest and disease-free and while we’re all probably familiar with the 9-foot-tall varieties there are some you can grow in containers too! This is another fun plant to grow with your kids!
Corn - Nothing says summer more than eating a fresh ear of corn, but it used to take a lot of space to grow. However, there are now corn plants that even grow in containers so there is no reason not to try it in your yard this year. It prefers conditions like that of beans which make a great companion plant. As the corn gets nice and tall and the beans can use the stalks for support. You will need a sunny location with rich soil that drains well but during the hot summer months mulch the plant, so they do not dry out. They will need 1 to 2 inches of water a week and you might have to provide that water if Mother Nature does not!
Strawberry - The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s. The fruit is grown for its bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and can be eaten as a dessert fruit, pastry, or pie filling, and are also often preserved in many ways. It does well in a variety of soils and has a low fertilizer requirement. The plant requires moist soil and is susceptible to drought conditions. Strawberry plants can last from one to four years. While there are many different varieties of strawberries, Fragaria ananassa is the most common one grown. ‘
Watermelon – Watermelon is a flowering plant that originates from Africa. The plant is usually grown from seeds in climates tropical to temperate, needing temperatures higher than 77 °F. Location selection is important as watermelons need 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day. The plant needs regular watering, about one inch per week, and regular applications of fertilizer. It takes 80-100 days for the plant to reach maturity. You will know when your watermelon is ready when it stops growing, has a yellow underside, and the stem at the base of the fruit starts to shrivel. To harvest your watermelon, snip the stem from the vine with sheers.
Creeping Jenny - Creeping Jenny is an evergreen ground cover that thrives in damp soil conditions. Its green foliage can take on a yellow hue in bright sunny conditions and it also produces yellow flowers in the summer. It will do well in partial shade and is generally not bothered by pests or diseases. It can also be used in pots where it will spill over the edges of the container or weave itself in between other plants. Once established it requires little care, but it can be invasive in some areas so give it lots of room to spread!