May Gardening Tips for the Pacific Northwest

Finally, hints of spring are arriving in the Pacific Northwest. We had a colder-than-normal March and April, but now that May has arrived, we’re seeing abundant green growth and warmer temperatures. But, lest you get too comfortable, here’s a weather update from the local Sheriff’s department:

“Is it here? Is it really here? As I get closer to winding the week down this Friday afternoon, I look outside to see blue skies and comfortable temperatures. Maybe spring is here.

“Looking back on this week, it rained a bit more than I thought it would, but overall it was pretty much as predicted. I might be wrong, but I believe we are looking at the highest temperature so far in 2023 this afternoon. While in my city, it’s right about 60, I bet a Corgi’s dog dish you don’t have to back away from the water too far to see it creeping much closer to 70. And I think we all deserve it. It will give us a chance to get some chores done, get out for a hike, or simply just enjoy the sun raining down on us instead of the rain raining down on us.

“Looking ahead, I am sorry to say, don’t get used to it. We might see a repeat of today on Saturday, but by Sunday; well, we return to what we have been used to. Sunday might be dry (don’t count on it), but it will be noticeably cooler and by Monday, yes, the rains return. Tuesday its going to hiccup and give us a nice day but then? Wham, right into the ground. Rain and cool weather return the rest of next week and probably through next weekend.


Still, we think it’s safe to say that you can take off your winter coats, head outside into the yard, and prepare your garden for new growth.

Here are some May Gardening Tips:

  1. Start planting summer vegetables: May is a great time to plant warm-season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and squash. Make sure to choose varieties well-suited to the region’s cool and moist climate.
  2. Transplant seedlings: If you started your vegetable seedlings indoors, May is a good time to transplant them into your garden. Be sure to harden off your seedlings for a few days before transplanting them.
  3. Fertilize your lawn: Apply a slow-release fertilizer to your lawn in May to promote healthy growth and lush green color.
  4. Plant summer annuals: Plant summer annuals like petunias, marigolds, and impatiens in May to add color and vibrancy to your garden.
  5. Prune shrubs and trees: May is a good time to prune spring-flowering shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons after they have finished blooming. You can also prune trees to remove any dead or damaged branches.
  6. Keep an eye on pests and diseases: With the warmer weather, pests and diseases can become more of a problem in May. Keep an eye out for signs of damage or infestation and take steps to prevent or treat any issues.
  7. Mulch your garden beds: Adding a layer of mulch to your garden beds in May can help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

These are just a few tips for gardening in the Pacific Northwest in May. It’s important to remember that weather conditions and microclimates vary widely throughout the region, so it’s always a good idea to consult with local gardening experts or resources for more specific advice. Give us a call at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping for any yard or garden projects you might need help with: (360) 876-6567