Your garden has been sleeping soundly for a number of months but the harsher weather can take its toll. If winter storms have damaged your garden beds — issues include things like thinned-out mulch, pooling water and plants that have experienced frost heave — take the time to fix these problems now. You can also use this time to clean and sharpen your gardening tools, and to clean your potting shed if you have one.



Get rid of debris that has collected during the winter months, including broken branches and anything that has blown into the area. You can also pull weeds that sprouted up in late fall, but be careful not to disturb early-blooming plants like daffodils and tulips.



Believe it or not, you can (and should!) water your flower beds before planting season. Loosen the soil, pull out rocks that will impede planting and growing and add organic matter, like compost. Then give your soil a good soaking before you put plants in the ground to give seedlings a solid start



We said plan, not plant. Slow your roll. Research the flowers, plants and vegetables you’d like to grow this year. Draw a garden map of where each plant will go, depending on the amount of sun and shade they require. Once you have a strategy, you can purchase the seeds you’ll need so you have them on hand as soon as you have the climate go-ahead to start sowing.



Okay, this is where things get fun. While you’re doing all the clean-up and prep work outdoors, you can start your seedlings indoors. Not all seeds need to be started early — you want to focus on plants that have slower root development. Vegetables that fall into this category include cauliflower, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and peppers, while flowers that can benefit from a head start include things like zinnia and marigold.

How to Know When to Start Planting

Every zone of the country has a frost date — the average date of the last frost. There are websites where you can search the frost date for your postal code. Avoid planting before the frost date and use your discretion. If there’s frost on your car on the morning of your area’s frost date, maybe give it a few days.

Recommended Posts