Spring is here and we are all anxious to get outside start working in the garden. One thing you can start right now is an early spring vegetable garden.
Starting and caring for an early spring garden is simple. First, decide what to grow based on what your family likes to eat.
It’s best to start with the standard cole crops such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, swiss chard and lettuces. As the weather warms, you can expand your garden to crops with tender roots and foliage. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and beans make great companion plants to any early spring veggie, so long as they are planted after the danger of frost has definitely passed (around mid-May in Michigan).
Other vegetables can be planted and grown successfully in cooler weather, so long as cold protection is used for cooler nights.
Next, pick where to grow your veggies. These varieties work well in both containers and directly in the ground. It’s important to choose the option best suited for your space, sunlight and lifestyle.
Eggplant, cucumbers, parsley and all varieties of lettuce typically thrive in containers.
For a truly unique container that’s in bloom all season, pair your vegetables with flowering annuals like zinnias, pansies, salvia or petunias.
Soil and seasonal care
While all vegetables thrive in the ground, the secret to success is in the soil. Prep the soil properly to grow plants with big, healthy roots that absorb more nutrients and water. Adding soil amendments such as compost, soil conditioner, peat moss and others will help improve the quality of the soil and ultimately your harvest.
Read more in Amendments for Powerful Soil
Use Espoma Bio-tone Plant Starter when planting, and then use Organic Espoma Garden-tone and Tomato-tone fertilizers during the season. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
When it comes to levels of sun, different vegetables require different amounts. Leafy crops like lettuce, Swiss chard, mustards and herbs need four hours of sun. Fruiting crops like tomatoes, peppers, melon, eggplant, beans and cucumbers need at least six hours of sun.
Anyone can learn to grow a vegetable garden! Find more great information on growing vegetables on our blog or at one of our stores.