May 08, 2017

Gardening in May

Gardening in May

A lot happens in the garden in May.
Crabapple Blossoms

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.

Queen Victoria

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.

Thanks for stopping by.


Post Script

The best way to receive my posts is by email subscription.  There is no cost to you.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google Plus.

You know I enjoy hearing from you so leave your comments below.


  1. What an enchanting post! We have lettuce, spinach and peas in but normally don't plant much at all till around May 24 or Memorial Day, depending on the weather. It has been unseasonably cold here in Michigan so we may lean toward the latter. My pansies and bulbs are in bloom, though, and that's a bit of a joy. Mostly clean-up for now! I think you will have quite the garden and I look forward to a photo of your little chick girl as they get older!

    1. We have also had cold weather and sooo much rain. So little has been done in the garden this Spring. Nothing has been planted yet. The ground has been so mushy with rain that clean up has been held up too. We had frost last night. Spring is slow starting this year. We will just have to exercise patience and wait.

      My little "Chick girl" (I like that name.) is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the chicks this year. She will be right in there helping again this year.


Although we love hearing from our readers, we are unable to open or respond to Annonymous Comments due to SPAM.