Spring is on the horizon and we are gearing up for our favorite season of the year here at the garden center. As these cooler months warm-up, it is important to prep for spring blooms and edible gardens by knowing the right steps to achieve the perfect spring garden.
Some things that you will need to start thinking about:
- Garden Planning
- Seed Starting
- Picking your Plants
LET’S START WITH A PLAN -
Draw It How You Want It –
Creating a drawn or written plan to assist in your veggie garden planning is very helpful. Not only does it give you a visual representation or example of what you want your garden to look like, but bringing a drawn plan into one of our locations can also help us find the plants that will work for your space. Pro tip: Saving your drawn garden plans can help when planning future veggie gardens so you can rotate or change the layouts you grew the previous year.
Making sure you have enough sun throughout the day in the spot you want to plant your spring garden is integral to your garden plan. If it is your first time planting, spend a day paying attention to how the sun moves across your yard. South and west sides of the yard usually get the most sun depending on other structures or tall trees in your yard.
Planning the size of the garden you want before starting from seed, or planting starter plants, is helpful so you know how many plants you will want. Generally, plants will want to be spaced a few inches apart in garden beds. So, make sure you account for this extra space when measuring your beds.
Raised bed gardens usually come in multiples of 4 feet (4x4, 4x8, 4x12), so you are able to reach across your beds and efficiently harvest any food you may be planting. Planting in rows, and gardening straight from the native soil, is also possible, but the soil will need to be amended in both cases before planting. Reading the tags and asking one of our Green Team members can help make sure you aren’t planting too close or too far away.
EARLY SEED SOWING -
When starting seeds indoors, the goal is to have hearty seedlings by the time it's warm enough to plant outdoors. Here's some tips to get started:
Tools for the Job -
To start sowing seeds indoors, you will need:
- Starting mix/soil
- Your choice of seeds
- A good light source
You can start seeds in almost any kind of container that will hold 1 to 2 inches of a seed-starting medium and has holes for drainage. Seeds contain enough nutrients to nourish themselves through sprouting, so a seed-starting mix does not have to contain nutrients. It should be free of weed seeds, retain moisture, and provide plenty of air spaces. We recommend using a seed starting mix or McDonald All Purpose Potting Soil. Your choice of seeds will be dependent on what is available for this season’s growing period. Come ask our seed specialists at the Garden Pharmacy desk to see what seeds may be best suited for your spring garden.
For additional information on seed starting, check out our seed starting blog here.
FINAL FROST DATE -
Before moving your seedlings outside, you want to make sure it is warm enough to move them into your outdoor garden beds so they don’t freeze. Final frost dates are dependent on the area you live in. For the Hampton Roads area, this date is usually April 5th for the Southside and April 15th for the Northside/Peninsula.
BRIGHT BLOOMERS -
If you are looking for a more ornamental garden with bursting blooms as a highlight, here are some early spring plant ideas, that are in-stock now, to get your garden started:
- Dusty Miller
- Gerbera Daisies
- Creeping Phlox
Trees & Shrubs -
- Japanese Maples
- Spring Blooming Camellias