If you haven’t already gotten started, now is the time to get your spring garden going. If you’re in a northern climate, it may not feel like it’s time, but there are tons of things you could be doing to get ready. If you’re in a warmer area like me, time is running out fast!
Spring weather is a limited commodity in South Carolina. One minute it’s winter, feels like spring for a little while, then bam… the summer heat starts beating down. It leaves a very short window for things like spring kale and other brassicas, peas and other crops that prefer cooler temperatures.
The last frost date for 8A (my area) is quickly approaching around April 1. So far I’ve only gotten a few things planted. I was able to get some garlic, red onions, rutabagas, mustard greens and kale planted outside. About a week ago, I started some tomato and pepper seeds and those have sprouted and are hardening off now. It’s just about time to start my cucumbers, squash and other warm weather crops.
So what can you do to get your spring garden ready before time runs out?
Spring Garden Tips:
1. Before you do anything else, sign up for Mother Earth’s personalized planting reminders. Visit the What to Plant Now page, then scroll down to where it says “Find out when to plant crops in your location” and click the yellow “View Planting Dates” button. You’ll need to enter your zip code and then scroll again to enter your email address to set it up.
Planting reminders have been a life saver for me. Without it, I wouldn’t have gotten my garlic and onions out on time. Now they’re growing well and will hopefully have plenty of time to produce.
2. While you’re there, get Mother Earth Garden Planner to help you plan the layout of your garden. Don’t do what I do and just start planting stuff without much thought – it always seems like a good idea at first but sometimes, it really backfires on you!
3. Try filling your garden with edible perennials. Last year, I made a permanent raised bed for my asparagus and I’m so glad I did. This year they have begun to come up nicely with very little effort on my part. I mulched them at the end of last fall and that’s it. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, rosemary and other great perennial plants, shrubs and trees that we’ve planted once are now producing. With perennials, you’ll reap the benefits over and over again.
4. Gather your supplies early. Don’t expect to do everything in one day. Gather everything you might need ahead of time: compost, pots, seeds, plants, etc. at least a week in advance of when you plant to begin. Put in your catalog and online orders early to get the best deals.
5. Start your seeds early, but not too early. You want to give yourself enough time to replant if the seeds fail, but you don’t want to plant so far in advance that the plants begin to die because they are ready to be planted outside before you are.
If you need some tips for getting started, read:
- How to Start a Garden Step by Step
- You Don’t Need a Green Thumb
- When to Plant Vegetables
- How to Keep Your Seeds Thriving until the Weather Cooperates
- Grow Fresh Salad
6. Relax… you don’t have to plant everything under the sun. Just pick a few items that you really love and focus on those.
7. Ask for help, if you need it! I might not be able to come to your house and personally walk you through everything, but I could offer some advice or even send you a link to a video that could help. So use the contact us form to send me your questions and I’ll do my best to help.