Spring can be a tricky time to grow your cool season vegetables. It took me many years of missed timing to realize what grew well, when to plant those seeds or transplants, and how to protect plants in the garden when the temperatures changed unexpectedly.
To be honest, for the past few years, there have been significant things that have stopped my spring garden from happening on time like a tree falling into my garden, covering my spring raised beds and smashing the fence around my garden protecting it from deer and turkeys.
But Spring gardening can also be one of the most amazing, miraculous times of year to plant a garden. Spring is not a fussy garden. It doesn’t need much water, insects are not quite the nuisance they are in the summer months, and in spring everything just wants to grow.
I have written you a list of effective 10-minute tasks to do in April for Your Spring Garden to help you have what you need to get this spring garden happening.
Different Planting Times
Planting times in spring vary across different parts of the country due to differences in climate and weather patterns. Some areas may experience longer or shorter periods of frost, while others may have different levels of rainfall or temperature fluctuations.
Additionally, factors such as soil type and elevation can also impact planting times many plants. It’s important to research the specific needs of garden soil for the plants you intend to grow and consider the unique conditions of your region before setting a planting schedule.
I live in a mountain region where I plant my spring crops in mid-March, but 15 minutes farther up the mountain, they will not be able to plant until mid-April. And going down the mountain to the valley, people were able to start their spring gardens in mid-February.
In a 10–20-mile range, I need to know when the last frost is estimated. And even then, if weather patterns change, then I need to make sure that whatever I have in my garden planted out is protected.
So here are some tips that can help in whichever stage of Spring Gardening that you are in.
Early Spring Tips
When you are still getting snow on the ground and your yard is freezing over, there are still things that you can do to get your garden started in early spring. And if you have never started a garden before, check out this blog post on starting a raised bed garden.
Start growing plants indoors if you live in an area with heavy frost still in April. Plan on planting your garden 6-8 weeks before the last frost date for Spring.
Order all seeds in early spring so that they will be ready to use. Go to the local garden centers to get the plants that you do not grow yourself. Buying transplants is a great way to start gardening.
As you build your confidence, you will learn how to grow more from seed whether directly sown in the ground or started indoors and take advantage of the early spring to get it started indoors.
Mid Spring Tips
Clean out your garden beds from old plants or debris from winter. Plan the date that you will be going into the garden to plant seeds and transplants.
Weeding as the weather warms up will be crucial as you don’t want the weeds to take the nutrients from the plants that you are planting out.
Take 10 minutes every few days to pull weeds before they have a chance to take over your garden. I’ve had many a weed try to take over, but doing a little weed work each week.
Late Spring Tips
Late spring is a great time to get your vegetable garden in shape before the summer heat sets in.
Start deciding what you need to take out to make room for summer crops. Decide what nutrients to add back into the soil and be on the lookout for bad insects.
This is also a great time to start harvesting and enjoying your fresh organic produce.
How to Garden in 10 minutes a Day
Add Mulch or Organic Compost
Adding mulch to a spring garden can offer several benefits. Firstly, it helps to retain moisture in the soil which is especially important during the warmer months. Secondly, mulch can help to suppress weeds and reduce the need for herbicides.
Additionally, as the mulch breaks down it can add valuable nutrients to the soil and improve its structure. Finally, adding mulch can also give your garden and flower beds a neat and tidy appearance while providing an extra layer of insulation to protect plants from temperature fluctuations.
Spring Cleaning Garden Beds
Cleaning a garden bed from plant debris before adding to it is important because it helps to create a healthy environment for your plants. By removing any debris, weeds, or old plant material from the bed, you can reduce the risk of disease and pests that can harm your new plants.
Use this time to divide perennials, plant bulbs, or ornamental grasses. Trim last year’s perennial foliage and make room for new growth.
It also allows you to assess the soil quality and make any necessary amendments before planting. Additionally, cleaning the bed can help improve drainage and ensure that water and nutrients can reach the roots of your plants more easily.
Pick the Right Plants
Choosing the right veggie plants is crucial for a successful spring garden. Check out this small course on growing cool season crops. By selecting plants that are well-suited to your climate and soil type, you can avoid problems such as disease, pests, and poor growth. Additionally, choosing a variety of vegetables makes eating your produce more fun and start planting.
Make sure to not plant out warm season vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, or peppers until the soil temperature is over 65 degrees. These summer annuals will do better if you wait as summer arrives with warmer temperatures.
Cool seasoned crops that do well with temperatures between 35-75 degrees include in a sunny spot:
April Spring Gardening Checklist
These tasks can be done in 10 minutes a day. Some may need to be repeated depending on if you have lots of weeds or lots of things to plant, break those larger tasks into 2-3 days of 10-minute tasks.
With just a little to do each day, your spring gardening will bring you joy as you watch it grow without getting tired of it.
Use 10 minutes a few times a week to weed.
Add a fresh layer of 1-2 inches of mulch or organic materials like compost with beneficial insects to the top of the garden once a month.
Check on your perennials like herbs that may need a trim from winter debris and that you can start harvesting or add to compost pile.
Plant out your garden 6-8 weeks before last frost date as the soil warms. ADD blog post about frost
Use pots, vertical planters, or containers to add more herbs, strawberries, or veggies if you have space in different areas of your garden. Use this to expand your garden. If you want to know more about vertical planters, check out this blog post. ADD VERTICAL planter blog post
Come up with a consistent watering schedule. You do not need to water a lot with the cooler weather. But the water does keep the plants insulated and warmer on colder days.
Check the low temperature each day after planting. If temperatures go below 45 degrees, add hoops and a plant cloth with clips to keep the cold out and keep your plants protected. Keep your tender newly planted veggies covered until they have established their roots and are strong enough to withstand the colder temps.
Monitor for pests as the temperature heats up, so does the activity around your plants. Look behind the leaves for eggs and then destroy those eggs. Rinse off with water. You can use stronger solutions that are organic depending on what is hurting your plants.
Start a compost or worm bin. – Check out this blog post on composting to find the right one for your needs. Use grass clipplings, dead leaves from winter, and food scrapes.
Add wood chips or pathway stones to garden pathway to keep the weeds from coming through. I order free wood chips from CHIP DROP. Or add steppingstones to make your garden more accessible during wet seasons.
A great book to help with figuring insects out at any time of year is called The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook by Susan Mulvihill.
What NOT to do in Spring Gardening:
Do Not Prune Fruit Trees
Pruning fruit trees in spring can be detrimental to their growth and fruit production. This is because spring is a time when fruit trees are actively growing and pruning them at this time can disrupt the flow of nutrients and energy throughout the tree.
It’s best to prune fruit trees during their dormant season, which is typically in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This allows old wood on the tree to heal properly before the next growing season and ensures that when new wood growth appears, it will produce healthy fruits.
But you can add new trees to your edible landscaping. You can start at your local nursery to find plants, trees, and shrubs to buy for the spring season.
April is the perfect time to start preparing and growing your spring gardening and with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful garden. Remember to prepare your soil, choose the right plants for your area, water regularly, and protect your garden from pests.
With the right tools and a little bit of effort and patience, you’ll soon be enjoying the fruits of your labor in a beautiful and bountiful spring garden. Happy spring planting!
When should I start Spring Gardening?
Early spring gardening is a great time to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days and begin planting. However, the timing can vary depending on your location and climate. If you live in a colder region, it’s best to wait until the frost has passed and the soil has warmed up before planting.
On the other hand, if you live in a milder climate, you can start early with spring planting and gardening earlier in the season. It’s also important to consider what type of plants you want to grow, as some may require different planting times or conditions. Overall, starting a garden in spring requires careful planning and consideration of your local climate and plant needs.
What are the best plants for Early Spring Gardening?
Spring gardening is the perfect time to start a vegetable garden, and choosing the right plants can make all the difference. Some of the best plants for a spring veggie garden include lettuce, kale, spinach, and peas. You can also add spring bulbs and a butterfly bush to add pollinators and beauty to garden.
These cool weather crops thrive in the mild temperatures of early spring and can be harvested before the summer heat sets in. Other great options for a spring garden include radishes, carrots, and beets. With a little planning and care, your spring veggie garden can yield a bountiful harvest of fresh, delicious produce.
How do you plant a spring vegetable garden?
To plant a spring vegetable garden, start by selecting the right vegetables that will thrive in your location and soil type. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and adding compost or other organic matter to improve the soil’s fertility.
Next, determine the optimal planting time for each vegetable using the list above and sow the seeds or transplant seedlings into the prepared soil. Be sure to water regularly and provide adequate sunlight, nutrients, and protection from pests as needed.