The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and the sun is out—spring must be here! If the warmer weather is making you dream of fresh tomatoes and crisp leafy greens, it might be time to start planning out your garden. Getting your spring garden going isn't hard, and it only requires a little bit of preparation on your part.
Question 1 of 7:When should I start a spring garden?
1After the threat of frost is over. This looks different for everyone, and it depends a lot on the temperature of your climate. Most fruits and vegetables don't do well in below freezing temperatures, so it's important to wait long enough before planting.
There are tons of apps and websites that can tell you when your climate is ready for planting. Try searching “spring garden planting” or “threat of frost” + your area.
In the northern hemisphere, anywhere from late March to early May is the right time to plant your garden.
In the southern hemisphere, try waiting until mid-September or early November.
Question 2 of 7:How should I prepare my garden for spring?
1Till the area in the fall. Use a shovel or a hoe to disturb the top layer of dirt and mix it in with the middle layer. The goal is to distribute the nutrients and minerals throughout your entire garden. If you aren't planting winter crops, you can do this in the fall.
2Rake the area in the spring. When it's time to plant your garden, grab a hard rake and disturb the dirt again. Clear away any loose leaves or debris, and try to mix up your top layer of soil one more time.
3Remove any weeds and dead plants. Is there grass growing in your garden bed? Did you forget about an old tomato plant last season? Throw on your gardening gloves and pull out anything that doesn't belong to clear the way for your new plants and veggies.
Question 3 of 7:How do you prepare soil for a garden?
1Test your soil to find out what it needs. Purchase a commercial testing kit from a local garden supply store and read the instructions carefully. Mix 1 cup (150 g) of soil with 5 cups (1,200 mL) of water, then drop it into the test kit. The color of your soil mixture will tell you what your soil needs.
2Add in compost, manure, or fertilizer about 1 month before planting. The amount and type of each one that you need depends on your soil composition, so get your soil tested if you aren't sure. In general, a nitrogen-based fertilizer is a safe bet for most vegetable gardens. Sprinkle 1 to 3 in (2.5 to 7.6 cm) over your entire garden before you start planting.
Question 4 of 7:What can I plant in early spring?
1Try cool season crops in early spring. This includes beets, carrots, parsnip, radishes, turnips, asparagus, cabbage, celery, lettuce, onion, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and globe artichokes. These plants do well in temperatures from 55 to 75 °F (13 to 24 °C), and they can withstand a slight frost if it happens.
If you'd like to expand your growing season, start your seeds inside 6 to 8 weeks before you plant them outdoors.
Question 5 of 7:What can I plant in late spring?
1Go for warm weather crops in the late spring. This includes tomatoes, cantaloupe, winter squash, watermelon, corn, and snap beans. These plants do well in temperatures from 65 to 95 °F (18 to 35 °C), and they like it best when the days are long and hot.
Question 6 of 7:Which flowers can I plant in the spring?
1Plant cool tolerant flowers in early spring. Nemesia, diascia, snapdragons, alyssum, osteospermum, mimulus, lobelia and petunias are all great flowers to add as soon as the weather starts to warm up. Try to wait until the soil is about 65 °F (18 °C) so the flowers can thrive.
2Add tropical flowers in late spring. Alternanthera, angelonia, New Guinea impatiens, lantana, vinca, celosia, cleome, coleus, cosmos, gomphrena, ipomoea, melampodium, portulaca, sunflowers and zinnias all need warmer temperatures. Wait until the soil is at least 68 to 70 °F (20 to 21 °C) before putting these flowers in the ground.
Question 7 of 7:What is the best vegetable to grow in the spring?
1Vegetables that grow underground do well in the spring. Potatoes, onions, garlic, and shallots are all safe bets, since they do well in the colder weather. You can start planting those as early as March in most regions.Trustworthy SourceRoyal Horticultural SocietyLeading gardening charity in the U.K. providing resources for identifying, growing and caring for flowers and other plantsGo to source
Keep in mind that underground veggies need fairly deep soil. For best results, try to plant them 6 to 8 in (15 to 20 cm) underground.