Starting plants from seed is one of the most exciting and rewarding gardening activities, and careful plant selection allows gardeners to continue growing throughout the year. Growing seed is not complicated, it just requires a little thought and care. For best results, it is important to use fresh seed and follow the instructions on each seed packet, which include specific planting tips, light requirements and watering specifications. Here are our recommendations for what seeds to plant in the month of May:
Where would summer be without zinnias? These easy-to-grow, annual flowers bloom in a variety of colors and sizes that provide striking garden views. Commonly grown in containers and window boxes, zinnias can also enhance the appearance of the landscape when planted in large masses. Prefers full sun locations.
Whether you are planting your first vegetable garden or have years of experience, growing snap beans should be at the top of your garden to-do list. They adapt quite well to a variety of soil types, provided the location is in an area with good drainage. When harvesting green beans, pick them once they have reached adequate size, but do not allow them to over ripen. Plant in full sun.
Sometimes called Chinese parsley, this annual herb has a distinctive aroma and flavor that is often used in Mexican and Asian cuisine. Cilantro looks like flat leaf Italian parsley, but the leaves are thinner. It grows in a rosette of stemmy leaves that are ready to harvest shortly after planting. Young leaves have the best flavor, so be sure to harvest often. Prefers full sun to part shade.
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)
An easy-to-grow perennial that produces clusters of bright orange, yellow or red blooms all summer long. Butterfly weed is appropriately named as the nectar and pollen-rich flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects throughout the blooming season. Butterfly weed also makes a nice cut flower. Plant in a warm, sunny spot.
With lots of varieties to choose from, this annual herb offers something for every palette. While the taste of sweet basil is bright and pungent, other varieties also offer unique tastes that are true to their name like: lemon basil, anise basil and cinnamon basil. Many gardeners mix various types of basil in their flower beds, where it is ready for a quick harvest anytime. Keep your plant from producing flowers by pinching off the flower spikes when they appear. By pinching off flowers, you'll help your plant produce more delicious, edible leaves and not waste energy on flower production. Prefers a warm and sunny spot.
Another easy-to-grow option featuring compact flowers ranging in color from pale yellow to deep orange and rust. Marigolds are a great addition to pots, baskets and borders or simply scattered throughout the garden. And, did you know that marigold plants produce unique compounds that give off strong odors that deter many insects and pests? By planting marigolds alongside your vegetables, not only are you providing lovely flowers, but you're also helping keep your veggies safe from pests - naturally! Marigolds are also beneficial for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Looks great in dried floral arrangements too. Prefers full sun locations.
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