Spring Gardening: Five Tips for the Growing Season

Spring Gardening: Five Tips for the Growing Season
Planting for spring can be refreshing. It is the first sign of new life just as the cold winter months have ended. These tips will help you cultivate your garden just in time for the changing of the seasons.

Plant after the last frost
Adult plants should be planted after the last frost of the season and seeds should be started indoors just before the last frost. In the southern states, waiting until after the last frost is not as paramount but it is still recommended to err on the side of caution.

Put thought into your plant choices
While exotic plants might look great, planting for your climate is more beneficial. Native plants are typically hardier and generally require less maintenance. Also, think about the goals that you have for your garden. If you are looking to keep a well groomed garden, you may not want to grow a plant such as milkweed , which is a butterfly attractor and the preferred food source for monarch caterpillars.

On the contrary, if your goal is to create a rich learning environment for a child, a plant such as milkweed is a substantial way to teach a child about the life cycle of a butterfly.

Ask your local garden shop
If you have a question, ask away! Garden shop employees are typically well-versed on the care requirements for any plant that they carry. They can tell you whether a plant prefers full sun, part sun, or shade. They can also tell you what type of soil the plants prefer. In Florida, we have a sandier soil which is great for growing sea grapes but poor for growing tomatoes. If you are uncertain about the type of soil you need or the care that is required, do not be afraid to ask!

Top with mulch
While mulch might seem like an aesthetic touch, it actually slows down the evaporation of ground water and helps keep your plants hydrated longer. This is especially important if you are in a climate that experiences droughts. As an added bonus, mulch tends to slow down the growth of weeds, so you do not have to weed as often.

The best part of a garden is that everything, including the dead plant clippings, is recyclable. Try building a compost heap to keep your plant trimmings so that you have your own fertilizer once it all decomposes.