Mid May is still a good time to plant vegetables along the coast. We’ve had real changes in weather this year, more rain and cooler than seasonal expectations. I use a vegetable planting guide from a book written by a gardener in San Francisco because I think our coastal climate in Cambria more closely matches San Francisco than southern California. Those of you who live inland, can grow things we can’t along the coast. I’ve listed some options for vegetable planting in May for both locations.
Right now my vegetable boxes are full, so I’ve planted seeds of pumpkin and zucchini among the roses. Since that is a particularly sunny site, I also planted tomato plants on that sunny slope. The tiny zucchini plants were victims of quail, so I had to put bird netting over them to protect the poor little things. If it warms up, I think they’ll be fine. Zucchini is hard to destroy. I didn’t bother planting crook necked squash this year. Two years in a row, the skin was tough. Not enough heat, I think. Inlanders can plant the wonderful varieties of summer squash available, I’ll stick to zucchini and buy my summer squash at the farmers’ market.
Along the coast, plant seeds of carrots, cilantro, lettuce, green beans, pumpkin, winter squash, sunflower, and chard. Buy plants and transplant cauliflower, and tomatoes (I put in sweet 100′s (a no-fail cherry), striped German, green Tiger, and Early Girl, all of which have done well for me in the past).
In addition to what coastal people can plant this month, inland folks can plant corn, cucumber, all varieties of summer squash and beans (bush or pole). Buy and transplant tomatoes, pepper, and basil. It’s a little late to start these from seed.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with varieties of squash and tomatoes. You may find something that works better than you could ever imagine! Let me know if you do. I’ll try it next year!