Planting by the Signs May 2021


Up until this point in the year the gardening is sort of easy. Yes there’s some exertion needed to accomplish a spring garden and even to get all the seedlings started in the greenhouse, but the real work occurs once the summer temps arrive for good and the threat of frost is pushed all the way to next fall.

The cold spell we had about a week ago nipped the tops of the potatoes we have planted in containers, but the warm weather we’ve had this week has encouraged new growth to appear. The same happened with two of our grapevines, one has a little new growth on it and the other still looks pitiful from the freeze. These are the two grapevines we planted last year so they’re not very large. Our two established grapevines appear to have made it through the frosty nights just fine.

We’ve been eating radishes, lettuce, and kale from the spring garden and are eagerly awaiting our first dish of kilt lettuce.

Pap always said he wouldn’t plant any frost tender plants until at least May 10 because you couldn’t guarantee there wouldn’t be a late frost. That’s exactly what happened last year when a very late frost did a lot of damage. We usually try to chance planting a few things before May 10, but never put out our tomatoes and peppers till about then.

Here’s my favorite planting by the sign days for May.

  • Taurus: good for all root crops and above ground crops 9, 10, 11
  • Cancer: best for planting above ground and root crops 14, 15, 16
  • Scorpio: best for flowers and above ground crops 23, 24
  • Pisces: Good for planting and transplanting above ground crops, trees and shrubbery 4, 5, 6


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  • Reply
    Catherine Spence
    May 3, 2021 at 8:57 am

    I bought my tomato plants on Friday, but I’m going to try to hold out for planting them on the 15th, along with the rest of the garden. Can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt again!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    This never fails to confuse me…. good thing we’re not entirely reliant on my gardening 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 1, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    So far I’ve planted 3 strawberries and some onions in a special bed I prepared. I dug out a circle about 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep. I filled it back in with a mixture of topsoil and composted wood chips. I mounded it up and surrounded it with curved concrete edging things. That should allow me to reach to the center from anywhere and pick my strawberries if I have any. I plan to pick off the blooms this year so the plants will fill out more runners and fill the bed by the end of this year. That’s why I planted onions. To take advantage of all the empty space. They should be gone by the time the strawberries need the room.
    We have a good chance of rain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We have been parched here. Wind and low humidity have dried out everything. The grass in my yard crunches when I walk on it.
    If we do get some rain this week that will put me in good shape on the 9th, 10th and 11th to do some planting. If it don’t rain I’ll have to drag out my sprinkler. Last year I bought it because my garden was drying up. The same day I got it and set it up it rained. I said, “Whatever it takes!” Maybe this year I’ll be able to make it rain by getting out my hose and sprinkler. Or maybe I’ll get too cocky and my well will run dry.

  • Reply
    Gina Smith
    May 1, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    We always say wait until Mother’s Day. Pretty safe from frosts by then.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    May 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Since I am growing tomatoes in large pots on the deck I have set them on rollers. Now I can roll them into the kitchen if a frost is coming. I think I am going to like this gardening on the deck except it will be lacking a lot of variety. I am trying lettuce and peppers in railing boxes along with the herbs.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Thanks, Tipper, for the May planting dates.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Mom always said May 10, but I started waiting later. I would check the weather, and if I saw a fairly moderate weather pattern for a week, I would plant. I aways planted potatoes early, and have even gone out and threw dirt over the green peeping through if frost predicted. Beans at one time cheap, so always planted them early. My Mom had a goal of haalf runners by the Fourth, They always called it the Fourth leaving off the July.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2021 at 9:01 am

    My tomato plants can’t wait another day to be planted as they are busting out of the small containers. It was cold last night with a frost watch for this area. The weather has been nasty and rainy and is supposed to be active again next week with rain and thunderstorms starting tomorrow and lasting all week. I think I will take my chances and go ahead and plant a few things today. My potatoes, lettuce and onions are off to a good start but that is all I have growing in the garden at this time.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Good morning Tipper, and Happy May Day to you and all the Blind Pig folk.
    Just been going through my saved seeds to figure out what’s needed to buy, and I was trying to remember something you discovered last year – a variety of spinach or some other green that became a favorite right away. Can’t seem to find the post where you mentioned it though, so maybe I’m misremembering. Or maybe it was longer ago than last year – I’ve been pretty much lost to time for the past year. Anyway, thought I’d ask in case you’ll know right away what it was. You’ve shown me so many varieties that have become my favorites, now I’ll try anything you recommend if it has a good chance of growing in Massachusetts. Thanks, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 1, 2021 at 8:25 am

    I got all my planting done using the April post planting by the signs dates. I have almost no room to plant anything else but I might squeeze in something using the May dates. Thanks for posting them. You have made me want to get one of those calendars.

    I’m jealous of your pea picking picture the other day. It is too hot too soon here to get any satisfaction trying to grow English peas. Makes me want to move far enough north to grow them.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 1, 2021 at 7:19 am

    I have several little plants started to go into my little herb garden. I’m not up to big gardening like you and the Deer Hunter do but I sure do enjoy growing my own herbs for seasoning and tea. I’m always anxious at this time of year for warm weather to quit teasing us and move in to stay! Of course when it does I will complain because it’s too hot!

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    May 1, 2021 at 7:11 am

    My Granddad Nick Byers always planted by the signs. I remember Miz Burnette next door talking about the signs.

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