May Garden Tips: Here Comes the Sun

In your plot of earth this month, prep the ground for a hot summer, bring the houseplants out and start your edible garden.
by Addie Ladner

“Gardening in mid-spring is spectacular because of the beautiful transition,” says local gardening expert Tony Avent. “You have winter plants starting to go dormant and summer plants that are starting to emerge, and the weather is great for getting out there.” Here are three things Avent says to do in your garden this month.


Mulch helps with soil fertility, water retention and weed control. And now, before warm weather grasses emerge, is the time to add it to your beds. “If you can see a weed, it’s too late — that means it’s already germinated, spread and started to take over,” Avent says. “It’s best to mulch while the ground is still bare.”

Bring Houseplants Outside

If you brought cold-sensitive porch plants inside for winter, kick off their summer vacation! Avent says that plants like ferns, snake plants, spider plants and fiddle-leaf figs recharge in the natural sunlight, where higher humidity, warmer temperatures and fresh air help with growth and prevent dust and mildew. 

Start Summer Vegetables 

“Now that we’re past frost risk, you can start warm-season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, basil, squash and eggplant directly in the ground,” says Avent. Find the sunniest spot in your yard, loosen up the soil and fertilize if needed (find manure or compost at your local garden center) before planting your seeds. If you started veggies indoors, now is the time to transplant

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of WALTER magazine.