What to plant in your Spring Garden in May (or November)

How do you know what to plant in your vegetable garden in May for the Northern Hemisphere or November in the Southern Hemisphere? Gardening information sure can get a bit confusing at times!

You may have a book to follow along with what to plant in the garden week by week. But unless it is written for your specific area, you and your plants will probably struggle if you follow it.

Please read: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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If you are a newbie to gardening, or if you want to learn a lot more, check out our very in depth course – The Productive Gardener.

Below I show you what to plant in your vegetable garden in May if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and what to plant in your vegetable garden in November if you are in the Southern Hemisphere.

This list is split into USDA Zones. So the first thing you need to find out is roughly what USDA Zone you live in.

USDA Zones are divided up based on your area’s average temperatures over the last 30 or so years.

Knowing what zone you are in will ensure you are planting the right plants at the right time of year for optimal success.

Here is a map that you might find useful. You can find another more detailed US map here.

USDA ZONE
Source

As with many things, zones are a generalization. Your specific site, and even different spots on your site will have their own microclimates that may increase or decrease your zone numbers significantly.

Shady exposed or damp areas will lower your zone number, sunny sheltered spots against brick walls can increase it.

The lists below will give you a starting place to work out what you can plant in your garden in June (or December) but I suggest you start your own garden diary and keep track of what varieties you plant and when.

Keeping track of what you plant and when and what works well for you is an important key to success.

Different varieties of plants have different heat and cold tolerances, as well as different lengths of time to maturity. Read the descriptions that are on the seed packets carefully.

I recommend using heritage seed varieties when possible – they are often disease resistant and contain more nutrients than commercial varieties which are grown for looks and transportability. Seeds for Generations have a great range of such seeds.

If you live in colder areas, choose varieties named “early” as they tend to have shorter growing seasons and you are more likely to have a mature crop before the weather gets too cold again.

Spring is an exciting time, and the hardest thing to do is not start gardening too early! By now, you should be able to plant almost anything in the garden.

You need to wait until the soil is easily dug, as sodden soil sets hard as it dries. Also before you plant out in the garden, wait until you are sure your last frost has passed.

Pests in the Garden

As the weather heats up, you may find an increase in pest pressure on your plants.

There are several ways to deal with pests – prevent, natural treatment, chemicals.

Personally I think we should avoid using purchased bug sprays as they will always filter down and affect the soil life. We want that soil life to be prolific, active and balanced. Not dead.

Prevention is the best cure when it comes to insects. Many insects can be deterred by some simple netting – get a very fine netting from your garden store for this purpose.

Netting will keep off birds, butterflies and many beetles.

Aphids and whitefly are so tiny that nets won’t keep them away. But having super healthy, strong plants will deter them from setting up shop in any great numbers. Keep your plants well mulched to keep the moisture in and their roots cool.

Slugs can be deterred by sprinkling crushed egg shells on the surface of the soil.

What to plant this fortnight depending on your USDA Zone

Key:

Sow most things direct into your garden at this time of year

Zone 1-3

Asparagus

Endive

Parsley

Beets

Horseradish

Peas

Broccoli

Kale

Potatoes

Cabbage

Kohlrabi

Radish

Carrots

Lettuce (leaf)

Rhubarb

Cauliflower

Lettuce (head)

Spinach

Collard greens

Onions

Turnip

Zucchini

 

Zone 4-5

Asparagus

Chard

Potatoes

Beans (snap, bush)

Cucumbers

Pumpkin

Beans (snap, pole)

Horseradish

Radish

Beans (dry, shell)

Kale

Rhubarb

Beets

Kohlrabi

Rutabaga

Broccoli

Lettuce (head)

Squash (summer)

Brussel sprouts

Lettuce (leaf)

Squash (winter)

Cabbage

Muskmelon

Sweet corn

Carrots

Parsley

Tomatoes

Cauliflower

Parsnips

Turnip

Celery

Peas

Watermelon

Zucchini

 

Zone 6-7

Beans (bush)

Eggplant

Squash (bush)

Beans (pole)

Okra

Squash (winter)

Beans (lima)

Peas

Tomato

Corn

Pepper

Watermelon

Cucumber

Potato (sweet)

Pumpkin

Zucchini

 

Zone 8-9

Beans (bush)

Cucumbers

Potato (sweet)

Beans (pole)

Eggplant

Pumpkin

Beans (lima)

Mustard

Squash (summer)

Cantaloupe

Okra

Tomatoes

Collard greens

Peas

Turnip

Corn (sweet)

Peppers

Watermelon

Zucchini

Zone 10

Beans (bush)

Beans (pole)

Beans (lima)

Peas

Potato (Sweet)

Okra

Eggplant

Corn (sweet)

Peppers

Watermelon

What plants grow well in your zone at this time of year? Let me know in the comments below!

For further reading, I really recommend all of these books. I own every one of them and they are amazing resources!

 

 

 

 

WHat to grow in your garden in early spring - may in the northern hemisphere or September in the southern hemisphere. #piwakawakavalley

WHat to grow in your garden in early spring - may in the northern hemisphere or September in the southern hemisphere. #piwakawakavalley

 

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