May coming to a quick close means now is the perfect time to give your outdoor garden—something we don’t talk about enough here—some much-needed love. Let’s dive into what some good plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables are a good idea to get in the ground now.
Sunnyside Nursery says the onset of June is the ideal time to plant your summer colours.
“What I love about planting in June is that I know whatever I plunge into the ground this month will give me 90 to 120 days of joy, all the way into October—assuming that I water and feed it. Unfortunately, you can’t say the same thing about seasonal colour items that were planted back in March and April. They might still be growing, but are most likely done blooming. June, on the other hand, is the ideal month to plant summer colour and that is why I often tell customers to save room for the June stuff,” said the nursery.
Some of these plants might be hard to find but your efforts seeking them out will make a huge difference in your outdoor setup.
Golden Delicious Pineapple Sage — This plant doesn’t last long at nurseries and if you knew about them you’d see why. It has golden foliage with a strong pineapple scent. The plant can bloom red flowers late into the summer and can reach up to three feet in height. Make sure you give it some space.
Cucumber: OK not a house or outdoor ‘plant’ but if you have the space and tastebuds for it, why not get some cucumber going? May is the ideal time to plant cucumbers in Ontario. Start your seeds indoors in late April if you plan on transplanting. If sowing directly into the soil make sure the soil is at least 15 C and around the middle to the end of May.
Chocolate cosmos: Sunnyside Nursery again really pushes plant-folk and home gardeners to add chocolate cosmos to their collection. These great-smelling flowers are in the dahlia family but have a smaller flower closer. According to the nursery, they are chocolate in colour, also in fragrance, and are a must-have. They form a mound of foliage approximately 18 inches tall with a constant supply of flowers all summer long. Plant chocolate cosmos in full sun.
Sunflower: Whether you plant one or 50, sunflowers are a beautiful addition to your big backyard garden, small flower bed under your bay window, or anywhere you drop a seed and it roots. The best time to plant these potentially huge flowers is now. And the best way to sow a sunflower seed is directly into the soil. Sunflowers have edible seeds and also attract pest-controlling birds and bees to improve your harvest and help detox contaminated soil.
Annual: Now that the risk of frost is long gone you can safely plant scented annuals such as snapdragons or marigolds. Petunias, antirrhinum, sweet peas, nemesia are all great options for perennials to plant around the end of May.
Various: According to Dobies, June opens up the outdoor sowing season to popular border flowers like alstroemeria, achillea, arabis, Canterbury bells, coreopsis, erigeron, myosotis and sweet William. Meanwhile, polyanthus, primrose and pansy, can be started off in your greenhouse and then moved outside later.
Just because this year’s Bread and Cheese Day is over doesn’t mean summer is. Put that cheese away, head to your local nursery and get planting (and a tan) this season.