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Get Growing: Gardening in May

While the weather is generally nice during May, cold weather can still surprise you
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James Lissy (courtesy photo)

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While the weather is generally consistently nice in May, we can still get snow so we have to be a bit careful of what to plant or move outside.  

If your cold-weather crops, such as cabbage, broccoli and snow peas aren’t outside yet you’ll want to plant them outside soon.

For the warm weather crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and squash, it’s best to wait to plant those until you’re sure we’re not getting another snow or freeze.  The earlier you’re able to get them outside may mean an earlier harvest, but you also increase your chances of losing those plants.  If that happens, these plants can be re-planted if you have any extra seedlings or you can buy additional seedlings. 

I’d suggest waiting to plant the warm weather crops until mid-May at the earliest since anything can happen with the weather. Waiting allows you to watch local forecasts for chances of snow or late freezes that may creep up at the end of May. 

When it does come time to plant the warm weather crops, be sure any seedlings are hardened off before you plant them in the ground.  

When starting the seed outside — for crops such as the squashes — make a shallow hole, no deeper than the height of the seed,  in the soil. 

Pulling weeds is the other main activity to be sure to stay on top of in May.  Get out there often and pull the weeds as soon as possible.   The more you delay pulling weeds the bigger the existing weeds will get, the harder they will be to pull and you’ll have more additional smaller weeds to pull too.  Whereas if you pull the weeds when they’re small, they’re easy to pull and you can knock it out in no time at all.  Plus if you find yourself with a bunch of dandelions you can make dandelion wine or a salve, among other things.  You never know what good uses you might be able to put your weeds toward!

Have a question?

If you have any questions or subjects that you would like me to cover in this column, they can be emailed to with the subject of “Longmont Leader Question.” I will happily answer any questions that you may have, after all this column is for you to benefit from and enjoy.


James Lissy

About the Author: James Lissy

James, a Longmont resident, has spent the last few years learning the ins and outs of maintaining an urban garden.
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