Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about planting your garden. Whether you’re new to gardening and learning how to garden or you’re a seasoned professional, planting vegetables and flowers in spring can be a delicate business.
Read on to learn the best time to start planting your garden, as well as some gardening tips to help you get growing as soon as spring arrives.
How to know when to start your garden
There’s no specific rule dictating when you should start your garden—it’s best to consider your local weather conditions and plan accordingly. The best time to start a garden is when the snow melts and the ground thaws and softens. You should take a look at the conditions of the soil. It should be somewhat dry and workable. Plant too early and the soil will be too clumpy, wet and inhospitable for growth.
You shouldn’t even till or repeatedly walk over soil that’s still saturated. It can make the soil too compacted and hard to work with—not just in spring but for the entire growing season. Wait until the ground is completely thawed before doing any work in the garden.
Planning your plants
After you’ve determined your soil has the right moisture level and texture, start planning what you’re going to plant. Most plants need a soil temperature between 65°F and 75°F, but some plants can handle lower temperatures. Refer to your seed packet, or ask an expert at your local garden center for more information, and use a soil thermometer to check for appropriate soil temperature before you plant.
If you’re eager to start your garden before temperatures get warm, consider planting early spring crops that thrive in cold weather. Typically, these plants can survive a few frosts and can germinate in cold soil—but keep in mind seed germination won’t happen until daily temperatures reach 55°F. Some cold-weather vegetables that can be planted early include:
- Swiss chard
As you’re planning your garden and planting cold-weather vegetables, make sure you’re leaving space for plants you plan to add later. Planting too close together causes plants to compete for space and nutrients. Leave plenty of room between your plantings for optimal growth.
You never know when a cold snap can ruin your progress in your garden. Protect your plants from frost—even after the last frost date has passed—by covering your plants with specialty frost covers, an old blanket or burlap sack.
One of the most important gardening tips is to make sure your sprinklers are ready to go as soon as spring rolls around. Get in touch with the professionals at Star Sprinkler Systems Inc., and schedule your spring sprinkler start-up service. Winter can take a real toll on your sprinkler system, and we’ll make all necessary adjustments and repairs so that you’re ready to garden as soon as spring arrives.