Celebrate May Day by planning veggies and shopping for annuals and bulbs, or sow indoor starts of fast-growing cucumbers, squash, and melons. When soil temperatures stay above 60 degrees (use a soil thermometer to check), plant corn and beans—save a few bucks and direct-sow them outdoors instead of buying starts. Once outdoor soil temperatures stay above 70, plant cucumber, squash, and melons (sow them ASAP if you didn’t start them indoors), plus warm-season vegetable starts like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. If your soil isn’t warming fast enough, try black plastic mulch or water-filled tents like Wall O Water, which take about a week to warm the soil by a few critical degrees.
See & Do
From April 16 to May 8, the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens in Woodland, Washington, host Lilac Days. Stop in to the historic home and gardens ($2 admission), and revel in the heady scent of spring amid dozens of varieties of lilac.
On April 30 and May 1, check out the Clackamas County Master Gardeners Spring Fair at the Clackamas County Events Center, with more than 200 vendors from all over the Northwest.
From May 6 to June 5, visit Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, where acres of bearded irises are in flower and inexpensive cut flowers are for sale.