What to Plant in May | Central/Midwest Region
January | February |
Gardening Quote of the Month: “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood
If you’re not sure how to start seeds or when to set out transplants, see the Resources section below.
To read more about what to plant in other months and regions, visit our What to Plant Now home page.
For planting times specific to your zip code, check out the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner.
Top Crops for Central and Midwest Gardening:
Here are the Top Ten crops for the Midwest region, followed by other recommended crops, as rated in our National Survey of Most Productive Garden Crops. (The criteria for selection include ease of culture, efficient use of garden space and time, ease of storage and desirability at the table.) The recommended crops are sorted by plant family to help you plan rotations so that the same plant families are not grown consecutively in the same area, as much as possible.
Top 10 Crops: Central and Midwest Region
- Slicing tomato
- Sweet pepper
- Cherry tomato
- Bush snap bean
- Paste tomato
- Snow/snap pea
Other Highly Recommended Crops:
Tomato family: Hot peppers, tomatillo
* To learn more about when to sow seeds (indoors and outdoors) or when to transplant your seedlings to the garden, see: Know When to Plant What: Find Your Average Last Spring Frost Date.
* Find garden seeds from great mail-order companies with our Plant and Seed Finder.
* You might also try swapping seeds locally.
* For tips on growing everything from artichokes to winter squash, see our Crop-by-Crop Growing Guide.
Don’t live in the Midwest? Find garden planning information for your area.