Spring Gardening Tips

By: iTopTopics Staff

Spring Garden Ideas

Gardening Ideas for Spring Planting Season

Spring is an exciting time for nature. Everything is awakened by the warmer weather. For most of us, it is time to get our gardens ready for a rewarding planting season.

Watching and working with plants can add a new dimension of enjoyment to life and bring an awareness of the wonderful world of nature in the backyard.

If you plan it right, put in your effort and have patience, your garden will not only bring you much enjoyment but also rewarding when it comes to harvesting time. Whether it is a garden of flowers or a garden of vegetables where you try to make the most out of your yard, you will find some of the most effective gardening tips here.

Spring Gardening Tips: Create a garden plan

1) Create a Garden Plan

Make a plan on what to grow in which area(s) of the garden and when to grow them. This way you can make the most out of your garden during the growing season.

Always check the seed packages for the right time to plant and how much sun exposure the plants need to thrive, to bear fruits or flowers. Notice the sun spots in your garden and plan accordingly. Some vegetables / flower plants do well in the sun; some prefer partially shaded areas; some do well in the shade areas.

To get a more accurate planting time frame for a certain kind of vegetables or flowers, click here is a good source to check for the right time based on your area code. More planting zone information from these websites:

Spring Gardening Tips - Prepare Garden Soil

2) Prepare your garden soil

Your garden soil has been idle during the winter time. Before planting anything, you need to give the garden beds some attention. Soil provides nutrients and water for plants. Check your soil to see if it is too compact, hard and crusty when dry, or too sticky and packed like clay when wet, plants will not be able to thrive well in these soil conditions. To maintain and improve soil conditions, mix organic matter and fertilizers into the soil before planting, and prepare and cultivate the soil when dry or slightly moist.

Organic matter makes the soil loose (friable) and easy to work. It improves nutrient and moisture-control capacity, drainage and aeration. If you have a pile of well-rotted manure or compost, or leaf mulch, use them to mix the top layer of your garden soil (8 to 12 inches depth). This task should be done at least a month before planting.

To learn more on how to compost right in your backyard, check out this home composting article.

In preparing the seedbed, do not work the soil when it is too wet. Wait for it to dry sufficiently so it crumbles in your hands. Level the area by raking. Then make raised beds if using furrow irrigation.

Spring Garden Tips - Seedlings

3) Seedlings and Transplanting

Most of plants are grown from seeds or transplants. Seeds can be sown directly into the soil. In order to speed up the sprouting process and start the planting season early, you can sow seeds indoor 4 to 6 weeks before the end of the frost period. A few things to keep in mind, to help the seeds to germinate quickly, soak the seeds in water over night before sowing. Mark out straight rows to make the garden attractive and to make cultivation, insect control and harvesting easier. For small seeds, create shallow furrows. Space seeds accordingly to the seed package instruction. Make sure the seeds placed at the proper depth. A general rule to follow is to place the seed at a depth about four times the diameter of the seed. Cover seeds with a thin ½ inches of soil. Seeds need moisture to germinate so water often enough to prevent drying the seed. After sprouts emerge, water less often but longer time so the water can penetrate deep enough for the roots to absorb. If sprouts come up too close to each other, space the plants out to the desired space as soon as possible.

For transplanting plants, do this task when the sun is out. Carefully remove the plants from the containers with minimal disturbing to the roots. Dig the hole deeper than the container. Cover the roots with soil and firm the soil around the plant. Use a starter solution to get plants off to a faster start. Starter fertilizer is a soluble fertilizer high in phosphorous mixture to promote root growth and new shoots. Protect plants for a few days from sun, wind or cold if necessary.

Spring Gardening Tips: Cares for your garden

4) Cares for your garden

  • Protect young plants from frost bites: Use garden beds for early planting season; use black plastic cover at night or the right type of mulch to cover the young plants from frost bites.
  • Irrigate often to keep the soil moist (but not soaking wet) around the root area throughout the growing season. Proper watering can be accomplished by observing the plant and soil. Moisture is needed around the seed for sprouting. Frequent watering will be needed to keep the soil adequately moist and prevent crusting of the surface. A three inch layer of organic mulch will help prevent evaporation. Do not place mulch on top of seedlings or transplants, but around them. As the plant grows, the watering period should be longer, allowing deeper penetration through the root zone.
  • De-weed the garden: Weeds compete with vegetables for water, nutrients and light. Weeds often harbor insects and diseases. Two important ways to keep down the weeds in and around your garden are mulching and cultivation. Mulching is covering the soil around your vegetables with a protective material. Besides controlling weeds, the mulch will conserve moisture, regulate the soil temperature and keep the vegetables cleaner. Check for the appropriate mulch to use for your garden, especially if you use mulch on your vegetable garden.
  • Protect your garden from pets and insects: learn about common insects and diseases in your area from local gardeners, books and online resources so you can prepare for how to get rid of these insects and diseases on your plants. When the weather is warmer, insects and bugs are more likely to present in a garden. Recording treatments in a gardening notebook will be helpful in the future when they occur again.
  • Be patience: gardening can be very rewarding and therapeutic. Gardening teaches us to have patience and care. When it comes to harvesting time, enjoy the fruits of your labor!