May - What’s in Carol's Garden?

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Your Regional reporter

Carol Michel is a regional reporter photo

Carol Michel is a lifelong gardener and resident of Indiana with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture Production from Purdue University.
She regularly writes about her old books, hoes, and many other gardening related topics for Indiana Gardening and on her award-winning garden blog, She is the author of the recently released book Potted & Pruned: Living a Gardening Life.

We seem to be off to a fast start this spring, with warmer than usual days signaling to plants and gardeners alike to hurry up and get going. Many of my tulips and daffodils bloomed earlier than expected and didn’t last as long as I expected them to last. I have a crabapple tree that always blooms around April 15th and this year it bloomed a week or so early.

Tulips look so beautiful.

Crabapple blooming in the spring.

The early spring crops I planted in March and April in the vegetable garden are starting to take off. This year, in addition to lettuce, spinach, kale and radishes, I planted shelling peas, snap peas, and snow peas. I planted my favorite snap peas, a variety from Burpee called ‘Masterpiece’, in containers with violas. They don’t need support and no matter when you pick them, ‘Masterpiece’ peas are edible. Even the tendrils can be eaten. I’ve added them to my list of “must plant every year” along with an old shelling pea variety called ‘Green Arrow’.

'Masterpiece' peas

'Green Arrow' peas

Before the end of May, I will have planted out tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, and sown seeds for summer squash, green beans, sweet corn, and cucumbers. I plant all my vegetables in raised beds and always find room for a few annual flowers, too. Last year, I had great success with zinnias and sunflowers, so I’ve decided to rearrange my vegetable garden to add some new beds for more flowers. To do this, I’m eliminating some compost bins—full bins—so I have a lot of digging ahead of me. It will all be worth it, though, when I see the flowers in bloom.

Zinnias adding some color to the garden.

Sunflowers shooting up.