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Seasonal Planting: Spring Planting Guide


May 5, 2022

Flower bed and work gloves

Spring is a time of renewal, natural wonder, and bright blooms. It is also the perfect time to start planting your spring veggies, herbs, annuals, perennials, and more. Before you begin planting on your property, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for the growing season. 

When do you start planting, and what do you plant in the spring? What planting zone are you in? How do you prepare your garden’s soil for planting seeds? Our spring planting guide can help you care for and maintain a healthy and colorful garden. 

Getting Your Soil Ready for Spring Planting

Before planting seeds and transplants into your soil, you must ensure your soil can sustain your spring-planted plants. Check that your soil has the proper nutrients and pH level using do-it-yourself soil test kits or sending it to a soil lab for testing that will provide you with professional results via mail-in samples and lab results with recommendations.

A major part of getting your soil ready for planting is to clear away any dead vegetation and remove any rocks and debris from the soil.

If your soil is too compacted, loosen it to improve the airflow for your plants. Adding organic matter to your soil can help improve aeration and moisture retention. This fertile soil makes it easier for roots to absorb water and nutrients.

Determine your soil’s temperature with a soil thermometer to determine the best time to plant your seeds. Test your soil for several days during the early to late morning to ensure your seeds have the right temperature to germinate properly. 

If you want to plant vegetables, herbs, and other plants during early spring, you can prepare a raised bed and create your own soil mix designed for the plants you plan to grow. Raised garden beds can drain better and allow the soil to warm up faster during early spring.

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Determining Your Last Frost Date

Large multicolor flower garden

Waiting until after the last frost date in your area is recommended before adding new plants to your garden. However, the last frost date varies depending on the region. Some cold-hardy flowers and vegetables may even be able to be planted before the last frost. 

Planting your seeds too early outdoors can put your baby plants at risk due to the temperature fluctuations. A cold snap could do significant damage. Checking the last frost dates in previous years of your region can give you a better idea of when you can expect it this year.

Many gardeners start seeds indoors if they want to get a head start in the growing season. Many cool-season crops (cabbage, lettuce, broccoli) can resist light frost and grow well when planted a couple of weeks before the last frost.

Refer to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine which zone you fall under. When you find out your zone, you can determine the last frost date for your area and the best time to plant seeds in your area.

Spring Planting Tools and Supplies

Garden working tools

Spring is a busy time for gardeners. As spring approaches, ensure you have all your season-friendly planting tools and supplies on hand. Check if any of your tools need to be repaired or replaced and do so before the growing season starts.

Want to be ready to plant your veggies, flowers, and herbs as soon as your soil’s temperature is just right? Here are some essential spring planting tools and supplies you need to make preparing and planting a healthy garden easy, comfortable and fun!:

  • Sun hat
  • Garden gloves
  • Garden shoes
  • Pruners
  • Garden spade
  • Trowel
  • Garden fork
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Soil fertilizer
  • Watering can

Slug Control: Protecting Your Seedlings

Garden slugs can be a nuisance to your garden and ruin your hard work and home’s curb appeal. A single family of slugs can destroy your crop in just a few days. Slugs eat tender leaves, vegetables, fruits, and pretty much anything. 

They prefer high-moisture environments, such as under debris, vegetation, rocks, containers, and mulch. Keeping your yard clean regularly can provide fewer environments for these tiny critters. Slug and snail bait can be an effective and fast way to control your slug and snail population.

Slug predators such as chickens, ducks, toads, and snakes can be an excellent addition to your garden if you want to lower your slug population. Create barriers to protect your tender plants and seedlings from slugs using crushed eggshells, diatomaceous earth, and copper wire.

Spring Herbs

In the early spring, the weather can be unpredictable. Tender herbs are not suited for these volatile temperature changes. However, there are many spring-friendly herbs you can grow that can withstand a bit of a chill. Consider planting these spring herbs from seeds in your outdoor garden to use in your cooking.

  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Lemon balm
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • Sage
  • Fennel
  • Marjoram
  • Mint

Annuals

Planting flowers in a garden

Planting annuals in the spring and caring for them throughout the growing season can add life and color to your garden come summertime. Certain annuals prefer cooler temperatures, while others may thrive in warmer temperatures.

Most annuals are too tender to handle early spring planting, but some cold-hardy annuals can add color to your garden in no time:

  • Annual phlox
  • Flowering kale
  • Lobelia
  • Pansy
  • Petunia
  • Snapdragon
  • Dusty Miller

Perennials

Spring-planted perennials can create a striking garden and brighten your landscape after the colder months. Consider these perennial flowers the plant during spring.

  • Butterfly Milkweed
  • Coneflower
  • Snowball Hydrangea
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Arabis
  • Scabiosa
  • Armeria
  • Candytuft
  • Erigeron
  • Speedwell
  • Delphinium
  • Thrift
  • Geranium
  • Daylily
  • Tall Bearded Iris

Bulbs

Planting bulbs in the spring can produce late summer flowers and add brightness and color to your property. Spring-planted bulbs should ideally be planted in soil temperatures above 55º F. Summer-blooming bulbs allow your home garden to have a full bloom in months.

  • Anemone
  • Begonias
  • Calla Lillies
  • Caladiums
  • Cannas
  • Croscosmia
  • Dahlias
  • Elephant Ears
  • Gladiolus
  • Lillies

Vegetables

Harvesting newly grown carrots

Early spring is a great time to start planting cold-hardy vegetables. While most vegetables would not thrive under a damp and chilly ground and thrive in warm weather, other veggies are more resistant to these colder temperatures.

In the Pacific Northwest, spring can be wet and cool. The high precipitation and cool temperatures provide the perfect environment for certain root vegetables and leafy greens. Vegetable planting can begin around March 15.

April 

  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Radishes

May

  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Eggplants
  • Summer squash
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

June

  • Summer squashes
  • Green beans
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Swiss chard
  • Okra
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

Lawn Care

Early spring lawn care is essential to keeping your lawn looking vibrant and thriving well into the summer season. Follow these spring lawn care tips to ensure your garden is in great shape this summer and beyond.

  • Tune-up your lawnmower – Get your lawnmower serviced before gardening season starts. Regular small engine care for all of your outdoor equipment ensures you can get work done without interruption.
  • Clean your yard – Remove weeds, leaves, and other debris from your lawn. Debris can hide under the snow until it has melted. Debris can also be the perfect home for slugs that can destroy your garden.
  • Aerate your lawn – Soil can become compacted over the winter, especially if you get heavy snow. Aeration can open up your ground and improve its ability to hold water and get enough air.
  • Overseed bare patches – Bare patches on your lawn may benefit from overseeding to bring in new growth.
  • Assess your soil – Test your soil’s pH and add treatments if necessary to get the right pH level for your grass to thrive.

Get Your Spring Garden Started with Wilco Farm Stores

Get ready for spring planting season with gardening tools and supplies from Wilco Farm Stores. Whether you are planting veggies, fruits, or herbs this season, we have got you covered. We’ve got everything you need to keep your lawn and garden in pristine shape all spring long.

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