Learn When you should be Planting Your Spring Vegetable Garden.
Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth
We are all anxious to get out there and enjoy spring, the sunshine, blue skies warmer temperatures and the sheer beauty that spring brings.
Planting your Spring Vegetable Garden.
Planning your vegetable garden for the season is as important as what and where you will plant. Before you get started make sure you know the planting zone and the last frost date in your area.
Once you pick your perfect piece of land to call your garden you need to make sure your soil is dry and warm enough, you want the soil temperature to be at least 60°F for most vegetables.
I provided a chart below that you can use as a guide throughout the planting season.
To find out if the soil is dry enough take a handful of soil and try to clump into to a ball. If it doesn’t crumble but sticks it may be too wet, if you are still not sure drop the ball of soil on the ground. If it does not break apart it is definitely too wet and you need to wait for drier conditions.
Now that your soil temperature is warm enough and dry enough you need to get your new garden beds ready for their seeds and plants.
Clear the area removing any weeds, grass and debris. If you are starting on a brand new garden you will need to improve your soil by amending it.
What that means is that you will spread about a 4” layer of compost over the soil and then mix it into the existing area, ideally to a depth of 10-12”. This is best done with a shovel or spade.
Even if you have an existing garden bed you most likely want to add some compost.
An inexpensive Ph soil test can be done to find out if this needs to be done. You can find testers at your local hardware/garden center.
For most of us the cool temperatures are still lingering at night so cool season vegetables can be planted now.
Most of these vegetables thrive and develop better flavor during the still shorter days and cooler evening temperatures of spring and fall.
What you should be planting now:
Lettuce, collards, kale, snow peas, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, radishes, beets, garlic and potatoes. You can also plant berries this time of year, though you won’t be able to harvest for several. Strawberries, Blueberries, and Grapes.
Tips for growing several of these vegetables can be found (HERE)
Herbs also can be started from seed or young plants can be planted. I always start Basil, Cilantro, Dill, and Parsley from seed, they are quick and easy to grow and will need to be planted more than once through the growing season because they are quickly to go to seed.
I buy Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme and Sage plants at the nursery to transplant in the garden. Typically these plants last several seasons, surviving through the winter. However with the harsh winter we had I lost all of them except my Thyme.
Be thoughtful where you plant making sure that you remember that those seeds will grow into tall bushy plants that will need plenty of space to stay healthy and resist disease and pests.