As the winter weather starts to slowly fade and the first signs of milder weather begin to show, now is the perfect time to think about and prepare for planting a spring garden. Whether you choose to plant flowers or vegetables, you should always plan out your garden in advance. The more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have planting your bulbs and seeds, and the more rewarding it will be later on in the spring when your plants have started to grow and bloom.
One of the first things to do is figure out the type of garden you want to grow. A vegetable garden is always a great choice and offers some fantastic rewards. You can easily grow just about any type of vegetable right in your own backyard without having to be an expert. As an added bonus, eating food that you’ve grown yourself is a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
The “Growing Vegetables Guide” from The Old Farmer’s Almanac can get you started on types of vegetables and their care. Better Homes and Gardens provides a list of the best cold-tolerant vegetables.
Nature Canada staff have their own favourites as well! Megan, our Purple Martin Coordinator, recommends mint.
Sam, our Website and Social Media Coordinator, loves growing green onions and basil in the spring. She says, “Green onions are easy to grow, multiply and taste amazing fresh out of the ground. I also love basil, mainly because I was surprised at how large it can grow! And it means fresh herbs for cooking!”
Flower gardens are equally great, and they incorporate the creative and artistic vision of the gardener into the final product in a unique way. In the initial stages of planning a flower garden, you will have to think about what type of flowers or plants you would like to plant (for example, annuals or perennials) and where you would like to plant them (for example, in a shaded or sunlit part of your yard). If you want to plant flowers that will benefit and help the Monarch Butterfly, check out our Monarch Butterfly Guide!
Better Homes and Gardens has a recommended list of spring flowers that can handle chillier weather.
Says Jodi, our Director of Development: “My son Noah loves marigolds because he likes that they keep mosquitos away from biting him. My daughter Keira loves any purple spring flower, but especially salvia, which brings the honeybees to our little garden.”
For both vegetables and flowers, you will want to make sure you’re planning on putting the right plants in the right places, so it’s important to do a little bit of research on which plants grow best in shady areas and which plants grow best in full sunlight.
Many people like to buy their seeds and bulbs early so they’re not rushed when the time comes to plant, so now’s as good a time as any to start! You can also choose to start growing certain plants right away by potting them indoors. You can then transplant them to an outdoor garden later. This method can be very helpful, especially for plants that are more sensitive to the colder and less predictable outdoor weather in the early spring.
While a lot of hard work can sometimes be required to maintain a garden, you can choose to plant flowers or vegetables that require minimal upkeep. Even if there is a little bit of hard work involved, remember to have fun above all else!
Do you have suggestions on what types of flowers or vegetables are best to plant in early spring? Let us know in the comments section below.