What to Plant in May – Garden Tips 2024

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There’s no month busier than May in the gardening world and deciding what to plant and when can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few seeds you can plant in May if you are looking for some inspiration.

What to plant in May: May is the perfect month to plant seeds in your garden. There should be no more threat of frost and the air and soil will be warm enough for tiny roots to take hold. Classic vegetables to plant in May include tomatoes, beans, and eggplant. Some plants take quite a long time to grow, such as peppers and corn, so you want them in the ground as soon as possible. Then there are plants like parsnips which take an amazing 100 plus days. Other, cold-weather crops will be ready quickly, such as lettuce and cabbage, so take advantage of a cool spring for an extra crop.

Try to time your crops and plant the same vegetable over a few weeks for a more continuous harvest. If you are worried about late frost dates, you can always start some seedlings inside and then transplant them into your garden when it really warms up.

14 Seeds to Plant in May


Corn needs heat and a long growing time. Wait until the threat of frost is gone towards the end of May before you plant it.

Corn won’t be ready until August so the sooner you can safely plant it, the better it will grow.


Not many people plant parsnips because of their long growing season. They take a whopping 100 to 120 days to grow. Planting in late May means you will have a fall harvest.


A super hardy crop, you can plant beets anytime in May. They are especially great if you have temperamental springs as if there is a sudden frost, they won’t be affected.

Beets can take a while to grow, so be sure to get them in the ground so they can enjoy the warm summer months and be ready for harvest in July or August.


A cold-weather crop, if you live somewhere with a mild spring, lettuce will do really well. The one thing you want to look for is finding fast-growing varieties.

Once the hot summer months show up, lettuce will start to wilt. Instead, find varieties that are ready in six weeks so you can enjoy the crispness of this crop. Also, stagger the planting date of the seeds for a continuous harvest.


Who doesn’t love a fragrant herb garden? Once the threat of frost is over, you can start building up your annual herb garden.

Favorites include parsley, basil, and oregano. Herbs will eventually flower and go to seed so you want an earlier start so you can enjoy their taste.


Peppers take a long time to grow, between 60 and 90 days. They also need a lot of heat if you want spicier varieties.

Be sure to wait until the end of May as you want your soil to be nice and warm. If you’re worried about the long growing season, you can always start seedlings inside earlier and transplant them in May.


All good things come to those who wait, and nothing is truer than with potatoes. Most varieties need around 90 days so May is a good time to plant this crop.

The good news is that potatoes are fairly frost-hardy so you can take a risk and plant them in early to mid-May. It’s also recommended to space out your planting, so try to plant once a week throughout May.


If you want your squash to be ready in September, you will need to plant in May. Just note that squash will not do well if there is a late-season frost.

You can wait until June for squash, if temperatures are not favorable; they just won’t be ready until fall.


There are many varieties of beans, including bush and pole, and you can plant all of them in May. While frost-sensitive, you can always cover your beans for the first few weeks to give them extra protection.


Very frost-sensitive, you want to make sure there is no threat when you plant melons. These include watermelon and cantaloupe.

However, due to their long growing season, you don’t want to wait too long. If worried, melons transplant nicely so you can always start them indoors and transplant them to your garden in June.


While tomatoes can definitely be planted in May, they are quite delicate. Even the hint of frost will destroy this plant.

Wait until the end of May if you live in a temperamental hardiness zone, although if you live in a milder climate, you can get away with planting them earlier.

Tomatoes need quite a while to grow so if you’re worried about a late frost date, you can always start these seedlings inside.


Eggplant grows really well in warm climates so be sure to wait until late May to plant these seeds. Be sure there is no threat of frost, and if you are worried, simply wait until June, just to be safe.


Okra primarily grows in more southern regions because it needs very warm soil. You can try to grow this crop in other areas but be sure to wait until it is over 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

Okra is also very sensitive to frost. Unless you live in a warm climate, you may want to wait until June for this crop.


Even though cabbage is a cold-weather crop, you can still plant it in May and get a decent harvest out of it. Plant in early May, although if you live in a climate with a very warm spring, you might want to sit this one out.


The better you can plan your garden, the easier the month of May will be. There are many crops to plant, so decide which are your favorites and which will work best in your climate.

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