It’s time for Spring Garden Planning!
**Anyone who loves gardening (like me) might get a tingle of excitement go up and down the spine just by saying this sentence out loud: “It’s time for Spring Garden Planning!” It’s true, too. Spring time is just around the corner, folks!
**Writing about Spring Garden Planning is a difficult thing, since we all live in different places in the world and Spring comes at different times for all of us, depending on our time zone and garden zone. For example, I used to live in Michigan. March is a bit early to think of Spring Garden Planning up there. If you think your region is not ready for Spring Garden Planning, you might want to check out my Early Spring Garden Planning post.
**I live in South Carolina now, however, and now is the time to get ready for Spring planting! This does not mean that it is necessarily too late to plant the plants I mention in my Early Spring Garden Planning post. It simply means that we are getting to that point where seeds need to be bought, started indoors, or sown into the ground for Spring/Summer sooner rather than later.
**Before you start planting, however, you might want to make sure your garden is ready. Check out my Crop Rotation Guide to make sure your garden is organized properly. Then make sure you own some good fertilizer (like this one), get your compost ready, test your soil (with something like this), and do other garden-type chores.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what to do this Spring:
**Click on the names of the vegetables to learn more about how to grow these plants.
- Arugula: Sow seeds directly into soil from Early Spring until Fall.
- Beets: Sow seeds throughout the year for an almost continuous crop. Start in early spring by sowing seeds indoors. In late spring, when the risk of frost has passed, begin sowing directly outdoors.
- Broccoli: To grow a spring crop, you can start seeds indoors in a sunny but cool place 6-7 weeks before the last frost date. Set the seedlings out when the plants are 5-6 inches tall/approx. 2-3 weeks before the last frost date.
- Carrots: Carrot seeds are always sown directly into the garden. The first ones can go in about 3-4 weeks before the last frost date.
- Cauliflower: For spring crops, start the seeds indoors, 4-6 weeks before setting the plants out. They can be planted outside as long as it is no earlier than 3-4 weeks before the last expected frost date.
- Leeks: You can start both summer and winter leeks in the greenhouse in early March. Later on in the spring (6-8 weeks after growth indoors), transplant them into rows in the garden, spaced at 6 inches apart.
- Lettuce: You can sow lettuce indoors as early as 10 weeks before the last frost date, and keep the flats cool (below 70 degrees) and moist. You should also harden them off for a few days outdoors. Plant every 2 weeks for a continuous crop.
- Parsnips: Sow parsnip seeds outside in March or as soon as your garden is mainly thawed.
- Peppers: Pepper seeds should be started indoors at least 8 weeks before the last average frost date. The seedlings do not like to be transplanted, so soil blocks or peat pots are a good idea.
- Potatoes: You can start planting potatoes several weeks before the last average frost date in the spring, but only if the soil has dried out sufficiently.
- Radishes: Sow summer radishes from March to June every few weeks, and from September to October.
- Rutabagas: Start your rutabagas by sowing the seeds at any time from early spring onward, as soon as the soil is warm enough to work in. If there is a danger of frost, protect the early seedlings.
- Spinach: For spring planting, you can start sowing seeds outdoors as soon as there is some ground in the garden that is thawed and dried out.
- Tomatoes: Tomato seeds are best started indoors, 6-8 weeks before the last average frost date.
**Click on the names of the fruit to learn more about how to grow these plants.
**Many fruits need to be started in Early Spring, so see my Early Spring Garden Planning post.
- Figs: Plant figs in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked after the last frost.
- Grapes: Plant grapes in the spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to work.
- Peaches: Plant peaches in the spring while they are still dormant.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are best planted by April, it is not recommended to plant them after June.
**Click on the names of the Spices and Herbs to learn more about how to grow these plants.
- Borage: Sow borage seeds directly into the soil in the spring, when the soil is beginning to warm up.
- Burdock: Soak the seeds overnight, and sow into garden in the spring, when the soil is beginning to warm up.
- Calendula: Sow seeds directly into garden soil in the spring, when the soil is beginning to warm up.
- Caraway: Sow seeds directly into garden soil in the spring, when the soil is beginning to warm up.
- Chamomile: Either sow seeds directly into soil OR transplant plantlings into the garden AFTER the last frost date.
- Echinacea: Divide your plants in the spring, or sow seeds that have been stratified for at least 4 weeks.
- Fennel: Divide mature plants in the spring, or sow seeds in the spring after the soil has warmed up.
- Fenugreek: Sow seeds directly into soil in the spring after the danger of frost has completely passed.
- Horseradish: Divide mature plants in the spring, or plant new roots in the spring, when the soil is thawed.
- Lavender: Use cold stratification on seeds for 2 weeks, sow indoors in trays, then plant in late spring, after frost danger is passed.
- Lemon Balm: Use cold stratification on seeds for 1 week, sow indoors, transplant in late spring.
- Lemon Verbena: In late spring, take cuttings and propagate for new plants.
- Licorice: Plant rhizomes in the spring, OR do cold stratification on seeds, scarify seeds, then soak seeds, THEN plant indoors and transplant plantlings in late spring.
- Lovage: Do cold stratification for 2 weeks, then sow seeds indoors and transplant in late spring.
- Marsh Mallow: Use cold stratification for 2-3 weeks, then sow seeds outdoors in the spring.
- Saffron: Plant bulbs in the late spring.
- St. John’s Wort: Do cold stratification for 3-4 weeks, then either sow seeds indoors to transplant later, or sow directly into soil in the spring.
- Tarragon: Propagate from cuttings in the spring OR by dividing roots in the spring after danger of frost has passed.
- Turmeric: Plant turmeric in the spring after danger of frost has passed.
- Vervain: Use cold stratification on the seeds for 1-2 weeks, then sow indoors and transplant the plantlings outdoors in the late spring.
Seeing this list makes me SUPER excited for Spring!
Are YOU ready to garden this year?!
For further reading:
**Read this post from Life, From the Ground Up about how to prepare your garden for spring.