May: Monthly Review

The Potager at the end of May

A bit tardy with the monthly review, but time has been spent dragging hoses and finally putting down some mulch. May began with the beauty of the tulips, gorgeous weather and lots of planting. Then on the 9th was the Freak Freeze, followed by a windy, rainy spell with cooler than normal temps. By the time we hit the 20’s (the dates, not the temps!) we suddenly had record heat and that has continued till month’s end. It certainly kept things interesting, with all the covering and uncovering but everything in the potager survived except the earliest planting of peas.

Finally warm enough to plant out the tomatoes and nasturtium edging.
The overwintered kale is a beautiful bouquet! And the pollinators love it…
The star of the May garden, “May Queen” shasta.

32 varieties were added to the potager during the month of May, either as transplants grown from seed, or directly seeded, bringing the total to 60. This year, there won’t be as many varieties as in past years because I’m editing. I’m passed the stage of needing to grow as many things as possible just to be doing. Now the list is limited to the foods we actually will eat, that have proven reliable in the past, and that it makes sense to grow (except for the fava beans, which are actually doing better this year!) There are very few “new” crops in 2020.

The “Robin Hood” favas are loaded with pods that are suddenly finger-length!
The Cutting Garden mid-May, all weeded, edged and mulched, but not very colorful yet.

All the gardens were given another weeding, edge trim, and lots of new plants. All the flats were moved out of the basement, and even the greenhouse is nearly empty. There is still planting of annuals to do once the daffodil foliage is gone, but for the most part the major planting is done. There was actually NO indoor seeding or transplanting done the entire month of May, except for reseeding a couple of melon and cuke plants that expired for reasons unknown.

The harvest began to accelerate in May, with asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries added to the prior month’s gleanings of kale, spinach, radishes, lettuce, bok choy and various herbs. Total poundage was 25.25, compared to an even 20 last year and 24.25 in 2018. And so far, the improvised strawberry protection seems to be working (knock wood!) to deter the raccoons from stealing the harvest.

Beet greens could have upped the total poundage, but we prefer to wait for sizable beets for pickling and roasting.

May overall was a good month, with the usual mixture of cold and hot, the good and bad that comes with gardening in Indiana. It did seem odd to not have the famous Indy 500 race, or graduation parties. But daily, I give thanks that I am blessed with having gardens and nature surrounding me during what could otherwise be bleak days.

Be safe and cautious. Take time to enjoy the beauty around you, and most of all be good to yourself and EVERYONE else. Continually, the lyrics of that oldie “What the World Needs Now, is Love, Sweet Love” flow through my head…true then, true now decades later.

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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5 Responses to May: Monthly Review

  1. Everything looks to be coming along nicely 🙂 Great photos. Your Potager has such a lovely neat design 🌿


  2. I love your updates, I would love to trade you some rain for your heat! Honestly, I think the growing conditions have almost been perfect here – rain, cloud, sun – repeat-but some more sun & warmth would be nice! I’m always amazed at how warm the soil is, even when we’ve had hours of rain and I’m able to get out and get into the field between rain drops – the soil still seems to be warm from the few hours of heat we had that day. Everything looks beautiful over there- keep up the great work!!


    • carolee says:

      I hope I’ve inspired you to add “May Queen” shastas to your growing program. Nothing so easy and reliable. Our 10 day forecast is full sun, so I’ll be dragging hoses rather than picking flowers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    We too have had weird weather but I have got everything planted out (until the autumn seed sowing begins). Gardening is never boring!

    Liked by 1 person

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