highyieldnewmain_1000Nothing defines Spring like a garden.

Gardens are as individual as people and there is a large variety of flowers, vegetables and herbs that one can grow in a garden. So let’s get planting and preparing for a season of color, beauty, fragrance, and healthy produce, for eating or juicing, and herbs to flavor your meals.

Decide What You Want to Grow: Flowers, vegetables, and herbs need different types of care, so make a decision and don’t take on too much in one year if you are a beginner.

Location and Design: You are going to need to design your garden, so you should pick a location that gets plenty of light. If you don’t have a lot of sun, your options will be limited but there are plants that thrive in the shade.

Having the necessary tools: In addition to seeds and/or plants that you can buy from a local nursery, be sure to have fertilizer, top soil, shovels, watering hoses and watering cans, gardening gloves, and a hat to protect you from the sun.

Prepare your Soil: You will have to test the soil to see if it can handle the plants you want to grow. If not, you will need to buy soil so your plants can grow and thrive.  Be sure to follow all directions on the amount of soil, and fertilizer. And yes, plant food really does help to aid in the growing process.

Plant the Seeds and Maintain: You will plant seeds according to the directions and begin to maintain your seedlings. Some people start by planting seeds in small pots or cells indoor and transfer the seedlings when you are sure the cold days are long gone. Watering and weeding is a daily chore, luckily most people enjoy caring for their garden and find it therapeutic.

When deciding what seeds to buy, the best companies include Burpee, Lake Valley and Botanical Interests. Choose from seed packets, large bags of wild flower seed and seed mats.

Easy Steps to Seed Starting at Home:

Seeds: Choose what you would like to grow. Some easy-to-grow

vegetables include beans, peas and peppers. Easy to grow flowers include marigolds, zinnias and alyssum.

Containers: It’s best to start with small planters or cell packs.

Soil: Press the soil gently into each container.

Water: Lightly moisten the soil prior to planting.

Seeding: Add 2-3 seeds per cell. Press the seeds gently into the soil. Then cover with an additional sprinkling of soil.

Label: Use plant tags to identify what you planted and the date.

Warmth: Cover the entire flat with plastic wrap. Some cell trays come with plastic dome covers. Place the flat or pots in the warmest area of your home. Most seeds germinate when temperatures reaches 70 degrees. Once the first leaves begin to break through the soil, uncover the flat and move the seedlings to a brightly lit location.

Transplant: Once the seedlings outgrow their containers, transplant them into larger containers.

Harden Off: About a week before planting outside you will need to acclimate the seedlings to the outdoor sunlight and temperatures. Do this by placing the plants outside during a warm sunny day under shade and bring them indoors at night. At the end of the week plant the seedling in the ground and continue to water and care for the plants as needed.

Time spent planting, picking and cooking the herbs and vegetables you have grown is an exciting accomplishment and a great way to spend time with your friends and families.  Enjoy!