How to Prepare a Garden for Spring | Easy Tips

Image of several sprouts in a planter with a banner that reads how to prepare a garden for spring.

Preparing a spring garden can help you have a great growing season. Here are some tips for staring a spring garden.

When you make a purchase using a link on this page, we may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please see About Us.

This post is contains tips on how to prepare for a spring garden.

If you are new to vegetable gardening, then it can be difficult to know where to start. Starting with a small garden can be a great way to start a garden, with fewer of the frustrations that may be experienced in a larger garden.

Gardening is a learning experience, and no two gardens are alike.

10 Tips for Preparing a Spring Garden

1–Decide How to Grow

Decide what type of garden you want to grow. There are many types of gardens, from raised bed gardens to container gardens and more. Container gardens can be especially great for small spaces. Choose one method of gardening or combine garden types to find out what works for you.

2–Decide What to Grow

Think about what you would like to grow in your garden. Some gardeners focus on growing flowers, or growing vegetables, or growing herbs, while other gardeners grow a combination of the three. Companion planting is a way of growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers together in a way that may benefit the plants. It can also add spectacular color and beauty to a garden.

3–Choose Where to Grow

Locate your garden in a place where plants can receive adequate sunlight to grow. Many garden plants require full sun to thrive. Plants like tomatoes, peppers, melons, and eggplant need 6 to 8 hours of full sun each day, while leafy plants, like lettuce or greens, can tolerate some shade. Look for an area with soil that drains well and that is protected from the elements, like harsh, strong winds that could knock over plants.

4–Make a Garden Plan

Plan where you would like to set up your garden and how you would like to arrange plants within the garden. Companion gardening is a way to arrange plants in a way that can be both aesthetically pleasing and beneficial to the plants.

5–Find Out the Last Frost Date in Your Area

The last frost date is sometimes known as either the average date of the last frost during spring in an area or is calculated as the date when temperatures are expected to be 50% frost-free. Simply put, chances of frost may be expected to decrease after the first frost date, but unexpected or sudden frost events can always occur.

Frost can occur when temperatures are at or just above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Some plants—like many varieties of cabbages, kale, and broccoli—can tolerate some light frost or mild, cold weather, and may be planted out in early spring.

Tender annuals and plants that are sensitive to frost and cold temperatures—like tomatoes, peppers, melons, squash, and cucumbers, should be planted out when all danger of frost has passed.

Be sure to allow plants enough time to mature before the first average frost date occurs in the fall. A moderate or hard freeze, or a long time spent in an environment with freezing temperatures, can kill even the hardiest of plants.

6–Disinfect Garden Tools

It is always a great idea to disinfect all the garden tools at the start of the year. It is a good idea to remember each time you work over plants or ground that is infected to disinfect as well. It is important to clean your hand tools after you work on questionable plants as well. It is just isn’t worth not cleaning your tools.

7–Replenish Garden Supplies

At the start of each year as gardeners we know about what we need to get things going in our beds. We have found in keeping our garden supplies up, anticipating what we will need and get it ahead of time has improved the quality of our garden. So as things come up most of the time we have what we need to take care it.

8–Clear Garden Soil for Planting

Clean out old plants and debris, like rocks and sticks, from the ground where you plan to start a garden. Remove weeds that may hamper the growth of young plants and compete for nutrients with the plants that you want to grow.

Loosen the garden soil up to at least 8 inches below the soil line to make it easier for young plant roots to grow, by tilling or working the soil. Great tools for cultivating a garden include garden shovels, hoes, and telescoping rotary cultivators. A garden rake can be used to level the ground.

9–Add Organic Matter to the Soil

Organic matter can add nutrients and minerals to garden soil and encourage micro-organisms that help to improve the soil to thrive. There are animal-based and vegetable-based types of compost and organic matter.

Examples of organic matter to add to garden soil include animal manure (such as chicken or cow), mushroom compost, and alfalfa meal, feather meal, or bone meal.

10–Do a Soil Test

It can be a good idea to have a soil test done to find out if your garden soil lacks important nutrients and to find out out your soil’s pH content. This can help you to determine what type and how much fertilizer and other soil amendments to add to your garden soil to improve the fertility of the soil, if needed.

For example, garden lime may be added to neutralize acidic soil. Contact your local university extension service for more information about conducting a soil test and tips for improving garden soil. If your soil is particularly poor, then one way to garden is to use a raised bed or to grow in containers that give you more control over the type and quality of soil and organic matter that is present during the garden season.

11–Order Garden Seeds

Many seed companies publish their seed catalogs in December or January. Order early for the best chance to get the seeds that you want.

12–Start Seeds

Look for estimated days to maturity on seed packets or in catalog descriptions. Start seeds early enough to give plants time to mature before the season ends. Use a garden calendar to help keep track of when seeds were planted, when young plants are transplanted to the garden, and when you can expect a harvest from each type of plant.

What to Grow in a Spring Garden

There are many types of plants that grow well during the cooler months of spring. Here are some seeds and plants that germinate and / or grow well during cooler weather.

Vegetables

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Edible Garden Peas
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips

Herbs

Some herbs prefer the cooler temperatures of fall and spring to grow.

  • Chamomile
  • Chervil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Garlic Chives
  • Lemon Balm
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Flowers

Note that some flowers are perennials that may not bloom until the second year.

  • Bachelor Buttons (Cornflower)
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Pea
  • Violas
  • Zinnias

Keep in mind that flowers that grow from bulbs or corms, like day lilies, hyacinth, and tulips, often need to be planted the fall before to enjoy their spring blooms.

This post was all about how to prepare a garden for spring.

— —

Credits
  • Photo by Jen Theodore / Unsplash
  • Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

Related Posts