Are you new to having a garden? If so, you may not realize that the colder months are the perfect time to learn how to plan a spring garden. While you’re stuck indoors with colder weather, there are things you can do for your garden that will help ensure what you plant comes up as amazingly delicious fruits, vegetables or flowers for your family to enjoy.
Plan the Space
Planning a spring garden should start with knowing the space you have. If you happen to have a full field to plant, you already know you’re good to go. If, however, you’re limited on space, take the time to measure, plan any raised beds or containers and work out a layout that really works with the space you have.
Don’t forget to include any vertical growing space you may have available too and to look at companion planting if you’re growing vegetables.
Know Your Zone
Do you know what gardening zone you live in? If not, you will definitely want to find out before you plant a single seed. Trying to grow the wrong plant in the wrong zone will only lead to heartbreak and plants that won’t grow correctly.
A quick Google search can show you which zone you live in.
Know Your Planting Dates
Like your gardening zone, knowing the optimal planting dates for your area can make or break your garden. If you plant too early, your plants may not get a good start. If you plant too late, they may grow well at first, but be crushed by temperatures that are too cold for them.
Your planting dates will also affect the length of your growing season. For instance, gardeners in the Southern states such as Texas will have a longer growing season than Gardeners in Maine will have.
Have Your Soil Tested
Not all soils are created equal and if yours has a PH balance that is off, your spring garden will have a harder time becoming the lush, beautiful area you intend it to be. If your soil is off balance, you can fix it by fertilizing correctly. To figure out exactly what your soil needs, you will likely want to have it tested.
You can do this in a couple of different ways. First, take a sample of your soil down to your local AG extension. They usually charge a small fee to test it and return the results to you. Another method and one that is a bit easier is to buy a soil testing kit from Amazon and do the testing yourself.
Choose the Crops
After you’ve done your initial planning, it’s time to decide what you’re planting! This is the fun part of garden planning! If you’re planting a fruit and vegetable garden, make a list of the fresh produce your family eats on a regular basis. These are what you should look at planting. If you’re planting a flower garden, make a list of your favorite flowers.
After you have your list(s), compare them to your gardening zone. Remove any that won’t grow well in your zone. After that’s done, go shopping! Buy your seeds from a reputable source or opt for bulbs or plant starters if you feel those are a better fit for your garden.
Looking to make the most of gardening this season? Check out these helpful guides:
- Best Insecticide for Vegetable Garden
- Best Mulch for Vegetable Garden
- Garden Plans You Should Be Making Right Now
- The Best Gardening Soil to Buy
- Finding the Best Gardening Knee Pads
Gather Your Gardening Tools and Other Supplies
Now that you have your layout planned, your soil tested and your seeds in hand, you should make sure that you have the appropriate tools and other gardening supplies you will need. The cooler months of the year are perfect for this and doing it when you’re otherwise stuck inside ensures that everything will be ready when it’s time to start your spring gardening.
Picking up things such as shovels, gardening knee pads, a garden hoe, potting soil, mulch and even building raised garden beds during the winter also tends to save you money. Since they’re off season, they tend to be priced much lower than they are once gardening season has actually started.