Spring Garden Guide

by Seasonal Wisdom on March 10, 2014

Spring is right around the corner.  I know it’s hard to believe in some parts of the country. But it’s not too soon to start sowing seeds for spring and summer food harvests … or at least, thinking about what you might want to plant when the soil finally thaws.

To get your garden off to a great start, here is a mini Spring Garden Guide with some of Seasonal Wisdom’s favorite resources. It’s illustrated with photos from the inspiring 2014 Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle. Come take a peek.

spring garden in tool box, with irises, snowdrops and other flowersSpring is such an easy time to love in the garden and home.  As the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”  It’s a time for new births and new beginnings, especially in nature.

Before we step out into the garden, however, let’s look at our homes first. To help get your home ready for the season, here is Spring Feng Shui Advice from Ann Bingley Gallops of Open Spaces Feng Shui.

Helleborus flowers in bird bath Regional Spring Garden Advice

Spring is an excellent time to prepare your soil for healthy gardens. Add organic matter like compost, worm castings and well-aged manures to your soil.  Clean up winter debris in the garden. Cut away broken or diseased branches, but don’t prune spring-bloomers until after they flower. Check on the conditions of your sprinklers.  Make sure the garden shed is organized and ready, and that’s for starters…

In some places spring had sprung a few weeks ago. In other areas, spring seems like a dream that may never come. Each region has different spring garden chores and timing. Here’s advice from university extension services from different regions around the United States:

Northeast: Cornell University

Southeast: Clemson University

Midwest: University of Illinois

Central: Texas Agrilife Extension Master Gardeners

Intermountain West:  University of Colorado

Northwest: Oregon State University

California: University of California Master Gardeners

Grow seedlings like these in spring gardenGrowing Food in Spring

Spring is the time to get your seedlings started for the growing season.  Some crops like lettuces, peas, radishes and carrots can be sowed directly in the garden. Others, such as warm-season tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, are best sowed indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date.

Here’s a brief primer on how to grow food from seeds, including seed resources, and tips on what to start indoors and what can be sowed directly in the garden. 

Need new seeds? Here are six questions to ask before buying seeds.

Are your seeds still good? Here’s how long vegetables seeds will stay viable.

Don’t let damping off disease kill your baby seedlings. Here’s advice.

Pretty outdoor eating area in spring gardenEating Well in Spring

Make sure these foods are in your spring meals! Seven Spring Vegetables to Eat Now

Growing Spring Foods

Garden-fresh foods always taste best. Here are gardening tips and photos of different spring foods, including interesting heirloom and hybrid varieties:



Cool Season Veggies

Cool Season Vegetables to Grow From Seeds

Carrots, Peas and Salad Greens

Carrots for rocky, clay soils



Primroses in different colors belong in spring gardenSpring Garden Basics

And just a few more basic tips for your spring garden:

How to Read a Fertilizer Label

Basic Pruning Tips for Healthy Garden

Enjoy your spring garden! And don’t forget these wise words from author Margaret Atwood, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” We agree.


Debbie March 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I’ve just started gardening on the Greek island of Crete. It’s spring here at the moment and everywhere you go is covered in wildflowers. All the orange and olive groves have flowers blooming beneath the trees. Really looking forward to my first full year of gardening here.

Seasonal Wisdom March 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

How wonderful for you, Debbie! Hope you have lots of positive gardening experiences. Thanks for stopping by.

Victoria March 23, 2014 at 10:58 am

This post is just bursting with good garden advice! Nice!

Seasonal Wisdom March 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

Thanks very much, Victoria. Hope you’re having a great spring yourself.

Cass May 4, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I directly sowed several varieties of lettuce, spinach, kale, and peas three weeks ago and 125 lbs of potatoes.
I started tomatoes, peppers, and melons four weeks ago indoors. I started squash and more melons indoors a week ago.
Last year I grew the equivalent of $1300+ in food within 5 months. I intend to grow triple that amount this gardening year. Please visit my blog @ to stay updated.

Matt March 27, 2015 at 4:53 am

Yes, it is spring, but doesn’t seem like it here in my neighborhood. Still Son on the ground. I missed the flower show in Boston this year, but now I’m regretting it more than ever because I missed a chance to get a taste of spring as the real thing it so late this yer. Great pictures, thanks.

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