Gardening in May
A lot happens in the garden in May.
Where we live in Southern Ontario it is officially safe to put tender plants outside by May 24th.
That means that flowers and plants that we consider to be annuals here are not planted until May 24th. This is the date that we are supposed to be frost-free.
That date coincides with the May 24th long weekend or Victoria Day weekend or May two-four, as it is affectionately called. It is always the second to last Monday in May. This year it falls on May 22nd.
May 24th was Queen Victoria's birthday and it is a statutory holiday in most of Canada. In Quebec Journee Nationale des Patriotes or National Patriots Day falls on the same date.
There will be a good deal of gardening activity on this weekend. It is also the sort of official weekend to open cottages and put boats in the water.
May 24th weekend is the kick-off or start of Summer in Canada.
Seeds for tomatoes and peppers have already been started indoors in March and April. Likewise for Cana Lilies and Begonias.
Things like potatoes, lettuce, radishes, and turnips are sown directly into the ground and can go in before the May 24th date. They can survive a little cold.
Geraniums receive a different treatment here at the country house. Every fall we move the pots of geraniums into the cold room where they spend the winter unwatered. They sit in the cold and dark, lose their leaves and die down a little for a winter rest.
In March they are brought up to a sunny window and watered. Sometimes we lose one or two plants over the winter. They start to grow again and then they are fertilized. They are ready to go outside now, but there is still a risk of frost.
We like to line the porch with Geraniums every year. We save a good deal by reusing the plants year after year. Some of the plants are quite old by now. Also, it means that we are starting each season with mature plants rather than the little ones for sale at the nursery.
It is easy to take clippings from Geraniums and start new plants as well.
Onions, cucumbers, peas, beans, Swiss chard and beets
go in when the ground is a little warmer
around May 24th.
Pumpkins, Gourds, and Melons like warm weather
|Casper Pumpkin Seeds|
They are planted around May 24th.
I know a little girl who can't wait for the chicks to arrive toward the end of May.
Someone will have to drive the tractor, but, not until she can reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel. Maybe in a few years little one.
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