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Seeds Northern Gardeners Should Direct Sow In Late May

Written by – Kaitlynn from MIgardener

This blog series is written primarily for our northern dwelling readers. In recent weeks, we have been laying out a few of the foundational varieties we recommend to start indoors in our region during mid-March, early-April, late-April, etc. Today, we’re talking more about what should be direct sown as the weather warms up outside. Once May rolls around, it’s time to put these seeds into the ground!

Late May is simply one of the most beautiful times of the year, especially in northern states. After the threat of frost is gone, it’s time to plant seeds for warm weather crops. These varieties won’t survive a frost, and won’t start well indoors, which makes them perfect for late spring direct sowing.

Here are the varieties northerners should direct sow in late May:

Beans

Germination time: 6-18 days

Germination Temp: 60-85 degrees F

Beans thrive in warm weather, and direct sowing them in late May will save the seed from rotting with the excess moisture of early spring soil. Planting beans as early as possible is one of the most rewarding steps a gardener (especially beginners) can make. One of the most straightforward varieties in the garden. Beans tend to sprout quickly and produce in abundance. Plant in succession in two-week intervals to harvest all season long. For more on how to grow beans, click here. For a video tutorial, click here.

Squash/Pumpkins

Germination Time: 3-10 days

Germination Temp: 65-100 degrees F

Squash and pumpkins are one of the best varieties of veggies to direct sow in late May because their germination rates skyrocket in warm soil. Late May is early enough for them to have the length of the season they need to grow big! Squash is quickly grown from seed. They will benefit greatly from direct sowing; this prevents them from dealing with transplant shock. Vining crops are prone to powdery mildew; planting these varieties later in the season will decrease their risk of disease. For a full growing guide video on squash, click here.

Cucumbers 

Germination Time: 3-10 days

Germination Temp: 60-105 degrees F

Cucumbers require a long growing season. Late May is early enough for them to have the length of the season they need to grow big! Cucumbers are quickly grown from seed. They will benefit greatly from direct sowing; this prevents them from dealing with transplant shock. Vining crops are prone to powdery mildew; planting these varieties later in the season will decrease their risk of disease. The delicate roots of cucumber plants rarely thrive after experiencing transplant shock. For more information on growing the perfect cucumbers, click here. For a video tutorial, click here.

Corn

Germination time: from 3-10 days

Germination Temp: approx. 50-95 degrees F

Late May is one of the best environments to direct sow corn. Corn is a crop that is extremely sensitive to moisture and rot. Planting corn in late May will keep your corn safe from the cold dampness of early spring. It will also protect the delicate roots of corn from experiencing transplant shock. For a carrot growing guide, click here. For a video tutorial, click here.

Keep your eyes open for future posts! Hopefully, these posts will help all of our midwestern and Michigan friends plan their best gardens ever in 2020.

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