May is finally here! Long days, bright sunshine, birds singing, plants growing at a rapid pace: what a beautiful time of year. We spend more and more time outside to enjoy our yard, we advance the work in the garden and the vegetable garden… But be careful! Sometimes the month of May has surprises in store for us and it is better not to rush, especially when it comes to vegetables. You don’t want to lose the beautiful seedlings you’ve lovingly planted and maintained for weeks just because you ran out of patience a few days ago! Here’s how to ensure a smooth transition of your seedlings from indoors to the garden.
Acclimatize your seedlings
Since they were planted, your seedlings are in optimal growing conditions. Sheltered from wind, temperature variations and other bad weather, you make sure to provide them with adequate lighting and water in the right quantity and at the right time. Before the end of May or even the beginning of June, the soil is not warm enough for your seedlings. So wait before transplanting them. Take the time to get them used to what awaits them in their new environment. Take them outside in the morning sun and let them air out all day before bringing them inside in the evening. Be careful, your seedlings will dry out more quickly with the sun and wind: check the condition of the soil often.
When to plant?
For the vast majority of indoor seedlings, tomatoes, peppers, beans, basil, cucumbers, etc., you should wait until the soil is about 18 degrees to plant. How to know? Trust nature, she knows exactly when the time is right. Watch the lilacs: when they are in bud, it is the right time to put your most fragile vegetables in the ground. These are called phenological markers.
May is also the time to sow cucumbers and zucchini indoors. These vegetables should be sown 2-4 weeks before transplanting to the garden. Early May is perfect!
Remember, patience is golden… and that goes for the vegetable garden too!