May Hobby Gardening Check List


May is my favorite month of the year. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful, green and vibrant. In Skagit Valley, we get mild to cool temperatures, with occasional rain- but we get to hit the 60 degree mark! All of these factors contribute to an enchanting Skagit Valley- while things are coming to life!

In order to keep my garden on the move, I follow the check list below to ensure I am keeping busy, and on top of my veggies, perennials and annuals. We have May broken up into two sections, the first half of the month, and the second half. Pay attention to what happens with the rain and heat in your area, and adjust accordingly. 

Week 1-2:

  1. Plant warm-season vegetables and herbs: May is the perfect time to start planting warm-season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and basil. You can start them from seed indoors or purchase seedlings from a garden center. Make sure to choose a sunny location and amend the soil with compost or other organic matter before planting.

  2. Transplant seedlings: If you've started seeds indoors, May is the time to transplant them into your garden. Make sure to harden off the seedlings first by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over several days. When transplanting, make sure to space them properly and water thoroughly.

  3. Direct sow seeds: You can also direct sow seeds for warm-season crops like beans, corn, melons, and pumpkins. Make sure to choose a sunny location and prepare the soil by loosening it and adding compost. Follow the packet instructions for planting depth and spacing.

  4. Plant annuals and perennials: May is a great time to add some color to your garden by planting annuals like petunias, marigolds, and impatiens, as well as perennials like daylilies, hostas, and peonies. Make sure to choose plants that are appropriate for your zone and soil conditions. I like to go on walks around the neighborhood and pull inspiration from others. Also, if something is doing well in a neighbors yard, its a good indication it could succeed in my own yard.

  5. Divide and transplant perennials: If you have perennials that are overcrowded, May is a good time to divide them and transplant them to other areas of your garden. This will help promote healthier growth and better flowering. Make sure to water the transplants well after planting.

Week 3-4:

  1. Weed your garden beds: Weeds can quickly take over your garden and compete with your plants for nutrients and water. Take some time to pull weeds from your garden beds, making sure to remove the roots as well.

  2. Add mulch: Adding a layer of mulch to your garden beds can help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Choose a natural mulch like shredded leaves, straw, or bark chips, and apply it to a depth of 2-3 inches.

  3. Deadhead spent blooms: If you have spring-blooming bulbs or perennials like daffodils or tulips, remove the spent blooms to prevent seed formation and promote healthy foliage growth. However, keep in mind that to leave the foliage to bring energy back into your bulbs for next years bloom. 

  4. Fertilize your lawn: If your lawn is looking a little lackluster, May is a good time to fertilize it. Choose a fertilizer that's appropriate for your grass type and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. I also try and look for the most organic/sustainable fertilizer options- such as compost or organic lawn fertilizer. 

  5. Water regularly: As temperatures start to rise, it's important to water your garden regularly, especially during dry spells. Water deeply and thoroughly, making sure to soak the root zone. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day to minimize water loss through evaporation. Keep the water off the leaves as that may cause disease and damage. Go with the method of water less often, for a longer period of time. 

  6. Do not forget to enjoy your garden! May is the time of the year I feel most of my hardwork during the off season of gardening (planning) becomes to show! Take a stroll every few days or more, and begin to see your efforts come to fruition. It is so satisfying, and motivating!!

We hope you have a great time in May! Feel free to reach out to us for any other questions regarding gardening! We look forward to hearing from you!