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Seasonal Advice for May: Recipes, Gardening, Folklore

The arrival of May 2014 brings with it many springtime traditions and celebrations to honor the phenomenal growth in the garden and the warming of the sun. See our tips!

The glittering leaves of the rhododendrons
Balance and vibrate in the cool air;
While in the sky above them
White clouds chase each other.
—John Gould Fletcher (1886-1950)


May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants.

May 1 is May Day. Mark the return of spring by bringing in branches of forsythia or lilacs or other flowering shrubs from your region.

Cinco de Mayo ("The Fifth of May") celebrates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862.

This year (2014), Mother's Day falls on Sunday, May 11.  Learn about the history of Mother's Day.

Memorial Day (Monday, May 26) is a poignant reminder of the tenacity of life. We post the flag on this day; know your American flag rules.

Recipes for the Season

Try some of these recipes that feature the first crops of the season:
Asparagus Salad with Peas and Toasted Almonds
Spinach Lasagna
Rhubarb Pie

See more on our "Seasonal Cooking: Spring Recipes" page!

Cook with more vegetables and fruit! See great recipes on our Garden-Fresh Cookbook page.


See our free vegetable, herb, and fruit plant guides for tips on planting, growing, and harvesting your most popular crops.

In May, enjoy new life! Attract hummingbirds to your garden. See our list of plants that attract hummingbirds.

Celebrate a new season of flowers by planting window boxes!

This is also the time when moles start coming out. See our page on how to control moles.

Enjoy our weekly Gardening Blog for timely gardening advice!

Everyday Advice

The wedding season is almost upon us. Find out wedding weather, sunset times, folklore, and more on our Wedding Planner page.

Don't get stressed! We've got Stress and Anxiety Remedies to help provide relief.

Spring cleaning? See homemade cleaning remedies and other tips to help you around the home.


Try star gazing in May with our new sky maps!

See Sky Watch for May and navigate the night sky from your own backyard.

In 2014, the full Flower Moon rises May 14. See May's Moon Guide.

Folklore for the Season

  • A cold, wet May means a barn full of hay.
  • Set sage in May and it will grow always.
  • A windy May makes a fair year.
  • A snowstorm in May is worth a wagon-load of hay.



Help! My mint and basil are

By Nancy McCleary

Help! My mint and basil are being eaten alive by something I cannot see or find or seem to be able to get rid of! Basil leaves are dropping to the ground ...whole. Mint leaves have holes chewed in them til they just a skeleton! I'm desperate!

Since you mention both mint

By Almanac Staff

Since you mention both mint and basil, it sounds as if you have a caterpillar. In the early evening, go outside and look for green caterpillars under the leaves or along the stems. Try a caterpillar insecticide with Bt (Dipel). See your local garden store. Spray in the evening and it should take care of them. Hope they make a comeback.

does any one know how to dry

By briddog501

does any one know how to dry sage for keeping or storge?

Tie it in bundles and hang

By catriona

Tie it in bundles and hang upside down for a few days. Should be ready to use in about 3 days. Keep stems on for making smudge sticks, or strip leaves off and pack in mason jars for culinary use. Stays pungent for years in a good sealed jar.

Hi there, check out our sage

By Almanac Staff

Hi there, check out our sage page for growing, care, and storage tips!

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