What to do in your garden in May

Here's what to buy, plant, and watch for in your part of the West

Flower tower

Flower tower

Rob D. Brodman

Click to Enlarge

  • Dahlias

    Plant Finder

    The Sunset Plant Finder helps you choose the right flowers and plants for your climate and gardening style


Finally, the time is here: In the Rockies, go ahead and start those tomatoes!

In other regions of the West, May is a good time to experiment. 

In Southern California, try subtropical fruit (like bananas, or cherimoyas); in Northern California, shop for kousa dogwoods; in the Southwest, consider a new prairie switch grass; and in the Northwest try some unusual summer bulbs (like Chinese ground orchids).

All zones should consider growing a tower of flowers. The tower at left is covered in Mandevilla, a subtropical perennial. (See how to make your own tipi trellis.)

Get more info on what to do in your own region of the West:

Northern California

Southern California



Rocky Mountain states

More: Small-space veggie gardens

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