Gardening jobs to do in May

Keep your garden in the best shape possible with our monthly gardening checklists.


May is a beautiful month for gardening, as the weather starts to warm up and plants are thriving. It's time to get your hands dirty and make the most of this vibrant time of year. Whether you have a small backyard or a spacious garden, here is a comprehensive list of gardening tasks for the month of May.

1. Planting

  • Annuals and Perennials

    May is an ideal time to plant colorful annuals, such as marigolds, petunias, and impatiens. It's also a great time to add perennials like coneflowers, daylilies, and salvias to your garden.

  • Vegetables and Herbs

    Plant warm-season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers. You can also sow herb seeds such as basil, dill, parsley, and cilantro for fresh flavors in your kitchen.

2. Maintenance

  • Weeding

    Keep up with the weeding to prevent invasive plants from taking over. Regularly remove weeds by hand or use mulch to suppress their growth.

  • Watering

    As the temperature rises, plants will need more water. Ensure they receive adequate and consistent moisture. Aim to water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation.

  • Fertilizing

    Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth in your plants. Follow the instructions on the packaging, as different plants have varying fertilizer needs.

  • Pruning

    Remove dead or damaged branches from your trees and shrubs to stimulate new growth. Prune spring-flowering plants after they finish blooming.

3. Pest and Disease Control

  • Insect Monitoring

    Regularly inspect plants for signs of insect damage. If you notice any pests, identify them correctly and use appropriate organic or chemical methods to control them.

  • Disease Prevention

    Keep an eye out for signs of plant diseases such as powdery mildew or black spot. Remove infected plant parts promptly and use fungicides if necessary, following the instructions on the label.

4. Lawn Care

  • Mowing

    Set your lawnmower blade to the appropriate height for your grass type and maintain a regular mowing schedule to keep your lawn looking neat and healthy.

  • Aerating

    If your lawn is compacted, consider aerating the soil to improve airflow and nutrient penetration. This will promote a stronger root system and overall turf health.

  • Fertilizing

    Apply a slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for lawns to promote lush green growth. Avoid fertilizing during drought or heatwaves.

5. General Tips

  • Composting

    Utilize kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials to create nutrient-rich compost. Turn the compost pile regularly to speed up the decomposition process.

  • Mulching

    Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, around plants to suppress weeds, conserve moisture, and regulate soil temperature.

  • Harvesting

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor by harvesting vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are ripe for picking. Regular harvest promotes plant productivity.

  • Planning

    Start planning for summer and fall by researching and selecting plants suitable for the upcoming seasons. Consider factors like sunlight, water requirements, and your hardiness zone.


May offers an abundance of opportunities for gardeners to plant, maintain, and enjoy the outdoors. By following these gardening tasks, you can ensure a flourishing and vibrant garden throughout the month and beyond. Happy gardening!

Explore all monthly gardening tasks

Explore all of our monthly gardening checklists:

Gardening jobs for June

Read our checklist of gardening tasks to do in your garden this June →.

Daily gardening tips: day 168

Prune fruit-bearing bushes to encourage new growth