Tips For Spring Planting
The winter blues probably have you yearning for spring and it’ll be here before you know it, but did you know there are things you can do to prep your garden before it gets here? Whether you consider yourself a green thumb or this is your first time gardening, we have some basic tips to get your garden where it needs to be, come Spring Equinox.
Spring Planting Tip #1
Clean your garden. This is the time to pull some weeds that are hanging out and simply tidy up the area. If you edge your garden with an edger or even with a border of some sort (e.g. bricks, cement border, decorative metal, gravel, etc.), this is a great time to install that or edge. This is also the time to clear out any leaves, sticks, and other debris in your garden, as well as trimming back old plants.
Spring Planting Tip #2
Treat your soil. We believe that you should apply a dry balanced organic fertilizer (i.e. Perfect Blend 4-4-4) prior to the first snow. However, if you currently have snow on the ground, don’t feel it’s too late for this! You can apply the fertilizer on top of the snow as it will still bring the nutrients down into the soil as it melts, giving the soil food web a meal before the season starts.
We don’t recommend tilling your soil because it breaks up the natural soil food web—a long-time community of organisms—which benefit your soil by decomposition, thus creating nutrition for your plants and other soil organisms. However, if you till your soil, we advise a healthy application of beneficial microbes (i.e. Quantum Growth) and a balanced organic fertilizer as mentioned above These would be applied after your tilling is complete.
Spring Planting Tip #3
Germinate your seeds indoors (as needed). Use the last winter days to sort your seeds by planting date and by those that will be direct-sown (such as beans, carrots, and corn) and those that might need to be kick-started indoors (such as tomatoes, peppers, and onions). Almost all seeds have their own growing schedule, so be aware of when plants and flowers are meant to be planted; you don’t want to plant too early or risk freezing your plants! As a general rule, most annual veggies should be sown indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost in your area.
Make sure to label your plants correctly in the beginning unless you’re excited for the surprise that awaits you. Some plants grow better with others, an example is beans with radishes and/or corn, and tomatoes with celery and/or peppers.
Spring Planting Tip #4
Proper planting. Each packet of seeds comes with specific planting directions. From how far apart to how deep, it is wise to follow those directions. Randomly sprinkling seeds all over your garden may produce plants, but there would be no organization and it could harm plants by crowding. If you are in the northern hemisphere it's recommended to plant in rows and from north to south for the best overall utilization of sunlight.
Spring Planting Tip #5
Proper Care. Plants can be overwatered, underwatered, over-pruned, under-pruned, or just plain neglected. When watering using a full-on stream of water from a water hose hosing can endanger your precious plants with too much force and waterlog the soils. If using a water hose to water simply use a watering wand or sprinkler that will break up the water stream into droplets like rain. It’s also wise to water in the morning when the sun is the weakest and the soil is still cool from the previous night. Watering at night leaves the possibility for unwanted fungus and mildew to grow. Water the base of the plant and avoid wetting the foliage, which can also cause fungus and mildew to grow on your plants. If possible, use a soaker hose to water vegetable gardens, this allows water to better reach the soil and also helps conserve this precious resource.
If you planted a garden and want it to produce, you should probably keep an eye on the spring weather. If you know it’s going to be cold, make sure you have a way to protect your plants. It’s never fun to watch a garden die after all the hard work you put in. Plants can be temporarily covered with sheets, drop cloths, or plastic coverings. Just make sure whatever you’re using doesn’t lie directly on the plant. You can prop them up with stakes if needed. If you’d rather avoid the task of finding sheets and stakes, you can invest in one of our CropHuts™ (see tip #6).
Spring Planting Tip #6
Use a CropHut™. These patented plant protectors are designed to give you an early start on planting. The proprietary blue color is scientifically proven to aid in plant establishment and growth. These cone-shaped protectors safeguard each plant individually in the pre-season from wind, chilly air, pests, and animals. Each CropHut™ stands 18” tall and includes a removable (and reusable) top with a 1” fixed vent hole in the center. They are only meant to aid in early-growth and should be removed when the plant is established and conditions are optimal for growing. CropHuts™ are stackable and when properly taken care of, can last years.
CropHuts™ are made in the USA and we are headquartered in Montrose, Colorado. Order them online for your own garden, or become an official CropHut™ dealer by visiting crophut.com.
PROTECT • GROW • PROFIT