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What to Plant in Your Veggie Garden in May {Zone 5}

Wondering what to plant in your garden in May? This list of warm weather veggies to plant in May will help you achieve your zone 5 gardening goals!Wondering what to plant in your garden in May? This list of warm weather veggies to plant in May will help you achieve your zone 5 gardening goals!

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My area of Eastern Iowa has an average last frost date of May 15, and gardening gets really busy in May in Zone 5. The average last frost date is what determines the order of planting for your veggie garden. If your last frost date is around May 15, this list is perfect for you. If your last frost date is before or after mine, you will need to adjust accordingly. Not sure what gardening zone you live in? Use this handy tool to input your zip code and find out. This tool will tell you what your last frost date is based on your zip code.

{By May in Zone 5, you  could have planted cool weather crops already. Check out this list of plants that can be planted in April in Zone 5. Depending on the weather, it’s probably fine to plant these cool weather crops in May as well.} Our spring weather has been really cool this year so I’m still planting cool weather crops.

What to Plant in your Garden in May {Zone 5}

Hopefully, you are not bogged down with cold and rain, like we are in my neck of the woods. I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen for the warm weather trick and planted the wrong crops in mid to late April, only to have them killed or severally stunted by cold, dreary weather. I’m happy to report that I’ve learned and now wait until mid May to plant the following crops. Here’s what you should be planting in a Zone 5 garden in May.

  • Beans, after May 5, direct sow seeds
  • Beets, anytime during May, direct sow seeds
  • Cabbage, early May, plant seedlings
  • Carrots, early May, direct sow seeds
  • Lettuce, early May, direct sow seeds
  • Potatoes, early May, plant seed potatoes using the no-dig method
  • Radish, early May, direct sow seeds
  • Sweet corn, early May {as long as it’s not too cold and rainy}, direct sow seeds

Zone 5 Gardening: the following seeds and seedlings need to be planted AFTER all danger of frost has passed:

  • Cucumber, mid May, direct sow seeds
  • Eggplant, mid May, plant seedlings
  • Pepper, mid May, plant seedlings
  • Pumpkins, mid May, direct sow seeds
  • Squash, mid May, direct sow seeds
  • Tomatoes, mid May, plant seedlings

Don’t forget Companion Plants!

A lot of companion flowers and herbs can be planted in May too. Companion plants help attract beneficial bugs and keep bad bugs at bay, so make sure you add some to your garden plan. You can also get a jump start on June Gardening Chores here if you’re curious what’s coming next.

Let's Garden! Printable Garden Planting Guide Zone 5

Want  a handy place to keep track of when to plant what? Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get access to my Free Printable Garden Planting Guide! It tells you when to plant what from April to August and helps you keep track of the details!

And finally, if you are new to vegetable gardening, make sure to check out my list of 10 practical tips for new gardeners! It’s sure to be a big help.

Happy Gardening!”


Friday 20th of April 2018

Have you started planting yet? We are buried in snow still.

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