What do we sow and plant in May in the vegetable garden?

Vegetable garden

The vegetable garden “awaits” in May for the vegetables that will fill the last, still free garden beds in spring. Do not rush the sowing and planting of warm-loving vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and other vegetables like warm soil. Similarly, this applies to pole beans, lentils, chickpeas, and asparagus beans. A good gardener is patient and waits for the right moment.

Do not plant tomatoes and cucumbers too early

Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, and similar vegetables are planted when the long-term forecast of daytime temperatures is around 20 degrees C. More importantly, do not plant these vegetables if night temperatures can fall below 10 degrees C.

Gardeners are often impatient and plant too early. But planting too early only harms the seedlings.

Tomatoes are planted in warm soil.

Do not forget to fertilize the garden beds

The simplest way to prepare a garden bed for planting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and similar vegetables is to use the Quick Fork. This tool loosens the soil deeply. It’s also a good practice to fertilize the garden soil with compost at a rate of 6 to 8 liters per square meter before starting work.

With the help of the Quick Fork, compost is easily mixed with the soil. This ensures it is evenly distributed across the surface down to the roots. Organic fertilizers in the form of briquettes are mixed into the soil in the same way. Thus, tomatoes and the rest of the vegetables have enough nutrients for the entire growing season.

loosening the soil with quick fork garden tool
We loosen the soil with the Quick Fork and at the same time mix the compost with the soil.

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Why do we loosen the soil with the Quick Fork?

We loosen the soil with the Quick Fork to preserve the microorganisms in the soil that decompose compost and other organic fertilizers into plant-available substances.

Microorganisms, earthworms, and many bacteria are very beneficial in the soil, hence we do not turn it, but only loosen it deeply. Tiny organisms in the soil are the “factory” for plant nutrition, transforming compost and organic material into mineral form, thus feeding the plants. Root hairs can only absorb nutrients when the microbes process them into an accessible form.

deep loosening of the soil
Deep loosening with the Quick Fork positively affects plants and soil.

With the Quick Fork, we loosen the soil so that the seedlings root better, because after loosening, the soil is fine and crumbly and contains just the right ratio of water, air, and solid particles. Loosen the soil before every sowing or planting of vegetables. We use the Quick Fork in spring, summer, and also in autumn.

We loosen moist, finely crumbled soil

Deep loosening of the soil is always done when the soil is sufficiently moist and crumbly. This makes the work easiest and fastest. For heavy, clay soils the right moment must be waited for so that the soil does not stick to tools and shoes. If the soil is dry, water it and loosen it when it has become nicely crumbly.

Easy and quick loosening of heavy, clay soils.

Light, sandy soils are easiest to work one or two days after rain. These soils are easier to work in spring as they dry quickly. In general, working with light soils is easier and quicker. But even with heavy, clay soils, there are no problems if we are patient and only work when the soil is suitable for cultivation.

When do we plant tomatoes and cucumbers?

Tomatoes and cucumbers are usually planted in mid-May. If there is frost, the plants could freeze and everything would have to be replanted. In warmer parts of Europe, e.g., Italy, all these plants are planted two to three weeks earlier than in Germany for example.

We plant cucumbers in mid-May.

What do we plant between cucumbers and tomatoes?

Tomatoes are planted at a distance of 70 x 50 cm. In spring, lettuce can be sown in the space in between, in summer lamb’s lettuce or spinach. We recommend planting basil along the edges. Chickpeas can also be put into the soil next to the tomatoes. Basil and lettuce should be planted next to the cucumbers.


Peppers love warm soils

The roots of peppers, eggplants, and other warm-loving plants develop when the soil has warmed up to 15 degrees. If peppers are planted at the beginning of May, the root system develops more slowly, and the seedlings stop growing.

All warm-loving plants are more susceptible to diseases and pests due to early planting. If peppers were planted at a distance of 50 x 50 cm, you can bring lettuce or kohlrabi into the space in between.

Peppers are more sensitive to cold than zucchini and cucumbers, so they must be planted in warm soil.

Eggplants love the warm spring and summer

Eggplants are a heat-loving vegetable, so outdoor planting should not be rushed. We therefore plant in the second half of May. If we plant too early, the seedlings are more susceptible to diseases. This can also happen if we have a rainy and cold spring and a cold late summer. Then the harvest will not be abundant.

Eggplants are usually planted in the second half of May.

Pepperoni and chilis are becoming increasingly popular

Pepperoni and chilis are becoming increasingly popular.

More and more pepperonis and chilis are being grown in city gardens. They can also be planted in larger pots and troughs. But they are also very popular in vegetable gardens or raised beds.

Two pepperonis or chilis can be planted in a pot 50 cm deep and 50 cm wide. In the garden, we plant them at a distance of 40 cm.

Planting watermelons and other melons

We recommend not to sow melons, but to plant seedlings. Like other warm-loving vegetable varieties, we plant them in the second half of May or later, when the danger of frost and low temperatures has passed.


Watermelons and melons are planted at a distance of 100 x 50 cm. At the beginning of growth, place low peas or low beans in the empty space.

We also plant zucchini and chayote

Zucchini can be sown in the garden at the beginning of May. If we plant them with the help of seedlings, we do this only after May 15th. Chayote is planted mid-May as well.

The planting time of chayote coincides with the planting of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepperonis, chilis, and other vegetables that love warm soil.

Chayote is planted next to a support.

It should be noted that chayote is a plant that loves heat and does not tolerate cold weather well.

In the garden, it’s better to plant bush-growing zucchini, which take up less space. We plant them at a distance of 50 x 50 cm. Chayote is planted next to the support (pole) as it grows very lush.

In May, we plant broad beans, lentils, chickpeas, and asparagus beans

Pole beans.

Pole beans are usually planted in the second week of May.

Lentils are sown at the same time as pole beans. Chickpeas are more demanding in terms of warmth and are sown at least a week after the pole beans and lentils.

Asparagus beans, a relative of beans, are sown in the second half of May. They can also be sown from mid-April to early May in the greenhouse. Asparagus beans are legumes that grow about as tall as a tomato.

Trieste lettuce and other lettuces

In May, we sow radicchio, especially the Trieste variety. Other types of radicchio and endive are sown in June, as the lettuces sown in May bloom very quickly. We recommend planting lettuce from seedlings at regular monthly intervals. Sow or plant as much as you will eat in a month.

Lettuce does not need to be planted on separate beds. We recommend you to grow lettuce among other vegetables that you have planted at a suitable distance.

On the independent lettuce bed, which is planted at a distance of 40 x 30 cm, arugula, radish, and garden cress can be planted between the lettuce.


In May, we combat wireworms

In May, wireworms hatch and can then be combated in various ways. As a preparation, slices of apples and potatoes are buried as bait on empty beds.


A few days later, you can use a product based on calcium cyanamide. In this case, the bed should not be cultivated for about 14 days.

There is also a biological product based on the fungus Beauveria bassiana. This is added to the watering water of the plants. It is best done in the evening. With this product, you will get rid of the wireworms in about three years.

Planting vegetables and herbs in raised beds

Almost all types of vegetables can be sown and planted in raised beds. They can be placed on terraces and balconies, but also in gardens.

Fast-growing vegetables thrive well in raised beds. We can even grow tomatoes and other larger vegetables. Make sure not to plant them too densely.

Raised bed in early May.

Herb raised beds are also very popular. This way, we always have home-grown herbs that we can use in the kitchen.

Useful plants in the garden

More and more garden enthusiasts are planting marigolds, calendula, and nasturtiums in their gardens. These are certainly the most common useful plants. But did you know that thyme works against snails and lice? Lavender, for example, helps against ants and lice.

Also, chives, which work against powdery mildew, should grow in the garden. Dill influences better germination of seeds. Garlic, Euphorbia lathyris, crown imperial, and beans repel voles.

Chamomile flowers for tea.

eHorti recommends:

The Quick Fork can be used on all soils that are appropriately moist and well crumbly. The tool is also useful for heavy, clay soils.

In spring, we first wait until the soil is only moderately moist. Only then do we start work. In summer, the soil is first thoroughly watered before cultivation to make it easier to loosen. In autumn, the soil is always treated before the autumn rains and before the onset of severe cold. We work then when the soil does not stick to tools or shoes. We recommend loosening appropriately moist soils that can be easily and effortlessly prepared with the Quick Fork.

NEW: CLICK HERE to buy the Quick Fork,
made from quality materials and manufactured in the EU.