6 Helpful Tips to Know Before Growing Your First Spring Garden
With spring comes a welcome sense of renewal and hope. It is when you can get outside your routine and start fresh, or at least give it the old college try. Planting flowers and growing vegetables can offer some fantastic rewards, but the two only sometimes play nice together.
1. Know Your Local Climate
In many areas of the country, spring is not kind to gardeners. Spring is often the most challenging season because of early frosts, late frosts, and unpredictable weather patterns. Spring is short here in New England, compared to other places where spring can last for months at a time.
2. Know Your Crop Load
Your harvest should be timed to coincide with your crop load rather than starting too early or growing too late for your particular variety of vegetables or flowers. Some need a longer growing season, while others will not tolerate the heat or cold. Each vegetable has its own needs, so research and know what to expect for your region.
3. Know Your Soil
Your garden soil has been dormant all winter and requires tender loving care before planting. Adding nutrients will help your garden grow strong rather than weak and struggling. A great time to do this is in the fall and early winter while you are planning your spring crop load. It will allow ample time for the soil to be ready to plant in spring when the planting time comes around.
4. Know Your Vegetables Or Flowers
Many vegetables or flowers will require plenty of sunlight. Some vegetables may need to be grown in containers for protection from strong winds and cold temperatures. Avoid planting vegetables that can shade out other vegetables, as you may disturb their growth more than you intended and put your crops at risk for disease.
5. Know Your Soil pH
Your soil should have a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 before you plant anything in it, so consider that when deciding what crop to grow first. Knowing how much fertilizer you will add and how often is essential. You want to apply only a little fertilizer for a vegetable where the leaves will decompose back into the soil, but too little of it can also affect your plant. Each item should be grown according to its needs and what will help it thrive in your area from best to worst:
6. Keep Everything Clean
Your garden can attract many insects that can cause damage and disease. Remember, this is your first year, so take pride in caring for it like a baby. It will make all the difference in the long run. Start a compost pile to add nutrients back into your soil. Many organic methods can keep pests out of your garden, but healthy soil is the most important thing you can do.
Starting a garden this spring is an excellent idea, but starting in the wrong season can be challenging and cause you to lose money or get out of shape. Examine your garden area, know the climate and potential problems, and start with sound soil management.