With spring just around the corner, you may be getting anxious to jump back into gardening after the long winter! The only problem is figuring out when it’s time to start getting your plants into the ground. You don’t want to act prematurely and have an unexpected frost kill all of your plants, but wait too long and nothing blooms when it’s supposed to. So, you’re probably asking yourself, “how do I know when to start planting in the spring?”
4 signs it’s time to start planting
Family Handyman shares a few insights about when the best time to start your garden is once winter has definitely passed. While the time of spring that you’re ready to start planting varies from place to place, there are sure-fire signs that it’s time to start gardening.
1. Check your soil
After the snow is all melted, it’s time to head over to the garden. Give your soil a thorough check. When the earth is completely thawed out, you may be safe to start getting your plants in the ground. You’ll want to make sure that it isn’t still too wet and muddy, though, because it can get too clumpy and cause it to become too compacted and hard later on.
2. Consult a zone hardiness map
HGTV suggests finding a zone hardiness map for your area and determining (roughly) when the last frost in your area typically is. While there are some freeze-proof plants, you’ll want to be sure that the chance of a late frost has passed before planting your warm weather plants that don’t take so kindly to freezing!
3. Use a soil thermometer
Using a thermometer designed to test the temperature of your soil can give you a good indication of whether you can get your plants into the ground. This method involves inserting the thermometer 4 inches into the ground and “[taking] a reading in the morning and again in the afternoon for a few days in a row, and [averaging] the readings.” The ideal temperature should be between 65 and 75 degrees.
4. Nighttime temperatures are warmer
Because spring frosts will happen during the night, Burpee Seeds notes that it’s important to consider the nighttime temperatures even though the days have been warm. Once temperatures through the nights are no longer dipping below 60ºF, your warmer weather plants should be ready to plant!
It can be stressful to know when it’s safe to send your precious plants out into the wilderness. Paying attention to these key signs can help you ensure that your plants are snug as a bug in a rug in your garden! However, if you find it hard to wait until it’s warm enough to start gardening, you can still plant the plants and vegetables that thrive in a little cold weather as long as your garden is no longer sopping.
Contact us to discuss your spring gardening options!