It’s Time For Spring Planting

The snow is finally a memory, indoor spring cleaning is in progress, and now is the time to tackle your outdoor space for planting flowers, and vegetables.

Spring is the best time of year to plant a garden that will instantly flourish, thrive throughout the summer and continue into fall. Whether you’re sowing seeds, planting seedlings, or transplanting, this time of year boasts mild temperatures and thawed, moist soil that are ideal conditions for plant development. Planting too early can expose your plants to frost, which we experienced only a few weeks ago here in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Planting too soon or too late can lead to a failed garden.  Time your planting based on the average last frost date and first frost date.  On average, Pennsylvania has approximately 150 days between the last and first frost dates (May 26-September 20).  The ideal planting temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Planting seeds or tiny seedlings when the soil is still warm can encourage rapid growth. A planting calendar helps guide you on the optimal time to plant vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruits, and shrubs.

To get started, follow these five essential tips to prepare your garden for planting:

  1. Clean out your existing garden by removing all debris, including leaves. Remove weeds by the roots to ensure they won’t grow back.
  2. Revive the soil by adding moisture with compost or manure. Fertilizer may be necessary to increase the health of the soil and increase the life of your plants.  Testing your soil will give you insight into what nutrients are required.
  3. Trim old plants that survived the winter. Pruning aids in new growth in spring.
  4. Mulch helps prevent weeds and disease. Adding one to three inches retains the soil’s moisture and temperature.
  5. Plant new once your garden bed is in shape.

Before you start planting, there are other factors to consider for each type of vegetation.  Creating a schedule based on the following will aid in the success of a beautiful garden bed.

  • Determine placement depending upon the amount of sun or shade needed for each plant.
  • Create a timetable (early spring, mid-spring, or late spring) for the heartiest time to plant each variety. Perennials and shrubs need more extended dormancy periods, which dictates they be planted as early as April (no later than June).
  • Diversify your garden palette with overlapping plants that bloom in a sequence from early spring to late fall.

A vibrant garden includes various plants that thrive at different times of the year, adding year-long curb appeal.  With so many choices in blooms and plant life, the professionals at Artistic Tree and Landscaping Creations can help design and plant your perfect flower bed.