Spring garden planning guide
I’m so excited to share my Spring garden planning guide today! Preparing the garden is one of my favorite parts about Spring.
Toward the end of gardening season last fall, Ben planted an additional round of arugula and kale. He built a DIY hoop house to function as a mini greenhouse, and we crossed our fingers that our veggies would continue to grow throughout winter. Shortly after he planted the greens, we were hit with a drastic cold spell. We assumed that our veggies stopped growing and our attempt for year-round greens was an epic fail. The hoop house froze to the ground, so we kept it in the garden throughout winter. Once the weather started to warm up, I asked Ben if we could finally remove the hoop house from the garden. It was a bit of an eye sore, and it didn’t work anyway. Or so I thought….
When Ben took down the hoop house, he was shocked to find a ton of arugula and kale thriving. I have a minor obsession with fresh arugula, so to say that I was excited is a major understatement. Having the opportunity to harvest veggies already in APRIL has made me so excited to plant our Spring garden.
If you’re planning to plant a garden this year, then my Spring garden planning guide will get you started!
1. GARDEN PREP
Research is the most important step in my Spring garden planning guide. By spending adequate time preparing and researching, you’ll set your gardening season up for success. Be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- Geographic location: Where do you live and what’s the climate? How long is your growing season? Which plants thrive in your climate zone, and which ones should you avoid?
- Garden specifics: Where will you be planting? How much space do you want to dedicate to your garden? Are you planting in the ground or in pots?
- Spacing guidelines: Don’t forget to read the instruction tag before planting! Each plant will have different spacing guidelines. When in doubt, give yourself more space in between each plant. (Ben and I always follow the spacing guidelines indicated in the instruction tag, but our garden is still always overcrowded. We’ll definitely be making some modifications to spacing this year.)
Next step in my Spring garden planning guide is deciding when to plant your garden. Depending on your specific geographic location, it can be tricky to determine the best timing for your Spring garden. Timing becomes especially challenging if you choose to grow your plants from seeds indoors. Although it’s tempting to start growing your seedlings at the first sign of Spring, it’s not always the best choice.
The best timing for your Spring garden is contingent on your geographic area. If you live in a warmer climate, then you can likely start your Spring garden on the sooner side. Midwestern states (like us) should probably hold off until end of April-ish. Timing will depend on your specific garden plans as well. When determining the best time to plant your Spring garden, consider the following questions – What types of plants are you growing? Are you growing from seeds or purchasing mature adult plants? All of these factors will help you decide the best timing for your garden.
Learn from our mistakes. Last year, we started growing our seedlings in the basement in early April. We planted our garden in April the previous year, so we assumed that the weather would cooperate. Well, Chicago weather is unpredictable. We continued to get snow through April, which made it impossible to transplant our plants to the outdoor garden. While some of our veggies continued to thrive, others were burnt to a crisp from the artificial grow light. Live and learn, friends.
I’m so excited to start planting, but we’re exercising patience this year and holding off for a bit longer. I’m admittedly not a very patient person, but gardening is a process and takes time. Patience is a crucial step in my Spring garden planning guide.
3. SHOPPING LIST
Now for the fun part in my Spring garden planning guide – shopping! The shopping list below includes all of the materials necessary to grow your plants from seeds. If you’re planning to purchase mature adult plants, no worries! Just skip the seed section.
Shopping list for indoor seed planting
- Flourescent grow light system
- Organic seed starter
- Seedling trays
- Organic vegetable seeds
- Waterproof seedling mat
Shopping list for outdoor planting
I hope you find this Spring garden planning guide helpful. Happy planting!
Need more gardening tips? Check out these posts: