May has got to be one of may favorite months out of the whole year. There is a beautiful fragrance in the air with the trees coming to life, tulips blooming and the time has finally come to start planting starts and seeds into your garden!
In our Beginner Gardening Series: April Edition ( in case you missed it, read it here! ), we talked about the simple steps to get your garden ready for planting. And I can hardly believe it, but we are here already–well into the month of May! So roll up your sleeves, we are going to get your fingers in the dirt and start planting!
Seeds vs. Starter Plants
So here is the thing, you can start your seeds inside or in a green house and have these beautiful little starter plants to plant in the garden. Or…buy little starter plants that have been grown and cultivated by the experts and pop these little suckers into your garden. Dont’ worry, you too will someday be a gardening expert and grow your own little starter plants ( if you choose ), but baby steps. With that said, there are some veggies that I do start from seed and we will talk about this later.
Think Squares vs. Rows
Rather than plotting your garden in rows, think about squares! This will maximize your garden space and help keep the weeds at bay. Uhhm, dream garden pictured here!
10 Easiest Veggies to Grown in Your Garden
Here is MY list of 10 easiest things to grown in the garden. My advice to you is pick 5. The 5 vegetables that you and your family are going to be most excited about. MOM TRUTH: Your kiddos are going to be more excited about eating these sweet little veggies that they have worked so hard to grow. It is a precious thing to watch!
1. Carrots – I sow carrot seeds directly into the soil. I DO NOT meticulously place each seed in the ground, you would need tweezers to do this. There are some of you out there that will do this, and God bless you, but not this gal. I sprinkle in seeds in the space I have plotted for carrots and thin the carrots as they just start to pop through the soil. This may seem counter intuitive, but it is a necessary step to give the carrots enough room to breathe and grow. Thin to 1 inch apart when the tops are 2 inches high, and be thorough, because crowded carrots will produce crooked roots. Thin again 2 weeks later to 3 to 4 inches apart.
2. Green Beans – I also plant green beans from seed. What you need to do is place a trellis at one of your garden edges and plant the seeds at the base of the trellis and watch them grow!
3. Lettuce – super easy to grow and keeps giving your love for weeks! Another seed start for me. With lettuce, be a little more careful with spacing the seeds. The back of the seed package will tell you how far apart to plant the seeds.
4. Cucumbers – I buy a starter plant. Cucumbers need some space. Keep this in mind when you are choosing their veggie neighbors.
5. Summer Squash – I buy a starter plant for all my squash. This is another veggie that needs some room to grow. If you devote half of a garden bed to cucumbers and squash, this is ideal as they are good neighbors.
6. Tomatoes – my favorite! There is NOTHING like a fresh homegrown tomato in the summertime! It is worth the little TLC that these plants need to be able to enjoy them all summer long. I buy starter plants with all my tomatoes. There are so many varieties, I would suggest the Sweet 100 (cherry tomatoes) and the Brandywine varieties.
7. Radishes – seriously, the EASIEST thing to grow in your garden and they germinate very quickly! You will see little sprouts in 4-12 days! I grow radishes from seed because of how quickly they germinate.
8. Bell Peppers – I would definitely buy a starter plant for your peppers. Again, another vegetable with many different varieties, plant your favorite and enjoy!
9. Snap Peas – so delicious and the kiddos go crazy over these. You will be lucky if any make it out of the garden. My girls were so quick to eat them up, there weren’t many left for harvesting! I start snap peas from seed. Like green beans, they need something to climb, so either place a trellis at the edge of your garden bed or place one in the middle of your bed, plant the peas seeds at the base and watch them grow!
10. Green Onions – I would recommend buying a starter plant for the green onions as they can take a couple of months to germinate when started by seed.
So there you go, you can do this! Your May to do’s; pick your top 5 veggies that you want to grow this year. Buy either seed packets or starter plants and plant them in your raised bed or garden space. Watch for the little seedlings to sprout and thin when necessary. Make sure to give them plenty of water and to keep the weeds away as they will compete for the life giving nutrients your soil provides.
Stay tuned for our June post that will be full of tips on how to make sure your little veggies are thriving, which ones might even be ready for harvest and secrets on how to have the best tasting tomatoes on the block!