In May the vegetable garden fills with life, many plants need to be sown, but if you carried out all the work to do in April you may already have a good number of vegetables to transplant. There’s no time to lose, head towards the vegetable garden armed with seeds, seedlings and your faithful watering can, everything that’s sown or transplanted needs water.
What to sow in May in the open field
In May there are many vegetables that can be sown in the open field. Check the weather conditions and always watch out for frost returning, in particular at the beginning of the month, in this case postpone operations. During the first part of May sow tomatoes, lettuce, cut and come again chicory, melon, radishes, spinach, watermelon and squash. Cardoons, early cauliflowers, basil, Swiss chard, carrots, beans, green beans, parsley, rocket, celery and zucchini, on the other hand, can be sown until the end of the month. Place the seeds at the correct depth, leave the right distance between plants and rows (you’ll find more details in the plant fact sheets) and finally water the soil well, but delicately, taking care not to disturb the seeds.
What to transplant in May
May is time for transplanting, a month full of satisfaction, especially for those who, during the early part of the year, have produced their own seedlings in a seed bed. In the first half of the month your can plant out watermelon, cucumber, aubergine, melon and sweet pepper seedlings, as well as celery, tomato, chili pepper, squash and zucchini. In the second half of the May transplant out summer/autumn cabbage and escarole seedlings. Once more, keep the right distances between plants and, when you’ve finished, water the soil abundantly.
Irrigate the plants regularly, especially the ones you’ve just sown or transplanted. In any case, water according to how the weather goes, remembering that if the soil is too wet it can damage the vegetables (favouring highly dangerous rot) just as much as soil that is too dry.
Mulching or weeding?
Weeds can create many problems for your vegetables, especially if they’ve just been sown or have just germinated. The weeds compete with the vegetable plants for water, nutrients and space. You can remove them by hoeing the ground, but close to the vegetable plants pull them out by hand, you’ll avoid damaging the roots. If you haven’t already done so, mulch the ground around your vegetable plants by covering it with straw, this operation limits the growth of weeds and the loss of water due to evaporation.
As the vegetable plants gradually grow they may need supports to help their vertical development. Tomatoes with indeterminate growth, beans and cucumbers develop better if their stems are fixed to bamboo canes, trellis or spiral frames inserted firmly into the soil close to the bottom of the plant. Be determined when you insert them, too many holes could compromise the health of the root system. Find out how to do it in the video below, and remember to activate the subtitles for a more detailed explanation.