Florida Gardening in May


It’s soggy here. Very, very soggy. It’s been raining and raining and raining. I’m not going to complain too much about the rain, but with rain comes flooding and mosquitoes. And right now my house has both.

Hurricane season is supposed to begin in June, but Tropical Storm Alberto wanted to get this summer started off with raging waves. So here we are another cloudy day with rain. (Though on a completely non-gardening note: wicked waves equal good surfing – too much for me today as a beginner surfer, but it’s still fun to watch all the more talented surfers rolling with the waves.)

Living in Florida does mean at some point your chances of experiencing a hurricane are pretty good, so we’re going to talk about how to hurricane prepare your garden as the season kicks off.

Hurricane preparation in the garden/yard:

Most people are aware you need to prepare your home for a hurricane, but many people neglect their outdoor area. This is an area that could hold potential hazards in high winds. If winds are high enough you will experience downed trees. If you’re in a coastal are, like I am, you’re going to experience some heavy flooding, so first be prepared to lose some plants.

Other preparations, include:

  • moving potted plants in a more sheltered area (either inside your home or protected by a outdoor structure and fence)
  • move in outdoor furniture or garden decorations
  • move fountains in a sheltered area (I lost a ceramic bowl during Hurricane Irma.)
  • prune dead tree branches
  • tie down newly planted trees
  • be sure to clean drainage areas to allow water to flow


May Gardening:

Like I said, it’s been raining, so I’ve been playing inside with garden designs and reading on edible weeds. I’m also designing gardening workshops for my new business, Pineapple Acres. Pineapple Acres is a holistic healing center with educational workshops meant to connect my clients to the healing power of nature. At the moment, I’m also a traveling community garden designer. It works for now, though I’m looking into purchasing my own piece of land eventually. Lots of planning and paperwork this month, but it’s okay…the rain is keeping the gardens happy.

What to plant in the vegetable garden:

We are reaching that time of year when I begin to shut down my annual vegetable garden. It just gets too hot or too wet for most plants. There are still a few hot-weather survivors.

  • cherry tomatoes
  • peppers
  • okras
  • sweet potatoes
  • dasheens
  • yautias
  • calabazas
  • Chayote

What is flowering:

  • Jamaican strawberry tree (I’m getting so many cherries on this tree!)
  • plumeria
  • lantana
  • oleander
  • periwinkle
  • perennial peanut
  • jasmine
  • bouganvallia
  • desert rose
  • marigolds
  • African ginger
  • hibiscus
  • squashes
  • watermelon
  • milkweed



Maccubbin, Tom. Month-By-Month Gardening Florida: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year. Minneapolis, MN: Cool Springs Press, 2014.