May has been hot hot hot! During this month we had love bug season come and go. Pests started to increase with the increase in temperatures including cutworms and aphids. The cool season crops came to an end and the warm season crops are sustaining with some shade cloths. But it has made for some very good beach weather 🙂 Check out our May 2019 Garden Update below!
What’s Growing in May
This month the remainder of cool season crops were harvested – sugar snap peas, carrots, beets, green onions, celery, mustard greens, and kale. The beets were pickled and will continue to be enjoyed in the coming months.
As the temperatures started to rise, the aphids started to flock to the kale and mustard greens that were growing. The remainder of the kale and mustard greens that weren’t harvested were pulled up. Higher temperatures makes these vegetables taste bitter and the aphid season wasn’t one I wanted to deal with.
The strawberry and blueberry plants continued to produce fruit, but not as much as March and April. The raspberry bushes are continuing to grow but they haven’t started to produce fruit yet for the season.
The tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant have taken off after being transplanted into the raised beds last month. The tomatoes and peppers have already started to produce fruit and the first tomato was harvested this month. Pickled banana pepeprs, anyone? 😀
Here’s what was growing in May here in hardiness zone 9b:
Vegetables: Sugar snap peas, carrots, beets, green onions, celery, mustard greens, kale, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
Fruit: Limequats, Key limes, pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries.
Flowers: Mums, Mexican heather, marigolds, bachelor buttons, snapdragons, and roses.
Herbs: Feverfew, elderberry, ginger, lavender, mint, oregano, parsley, and turmeric.
May Happenings and Shenanigans
This month there was a focus on sustaining during one of the hotter months we experience. May is typically both a hot and dry month. Shade Cloths and EZ Straw has helped to keep things cool, along with a focus on watering EARLY in the mornings to keep the raised garden beds happy.
This was the first season where I’ve grown tomatoes in the raised beds instead of the pots and they’ve been doing really well. I think the raised beds have been helping to keep the soil temperatures cooler, as well as providing more space for the roots to grow.
I purchased a new shade cloth last month. This 25-foot cloth was cut in half and each half is covering one of my 4’x8′ raised garden beds. I’m a huge fan of shade cloths here in Florida, and I talk about using shade cloths in the garden in another post. Also called garden fabric and row covers, shade cloths are a great way to help your plants during extra warm seasons. I use these shade cloths from April through October when the days are longer and hotter. Once daylight starts to get shorter your plants can use all the sun they can get.
EZ-Straw has been my go-to mulch of choice this season and it’s been helping. I started using this product back in February and I still love it as a ground cover. It helps keep the ground cooler and allows the soil to retain it’s moisture for longer, while also controlling weeds naturally.
How’d your garden do this month? Comment below!