There may be no greater satisfaction to a gardener than watching a spring garden bloom. Whether you are planning your first garden or are a seasoned expert, these six tips will help get your garden growing!

Map Your Garden

Good planning is key to a successful garden and mapping is a helpful way to do this. Making it as informal or formal as you like, start by drawing the existing structures in your space. While designing and adding features, think about what plants grow well together, the distance between each plant, the amount of sunlight the location gets, the soil’s moisture, and the region you live in so you can choose the right plant for the right place. The more detailed your map, the more time, effort, and money you will save. Here are some online templates and softwares to get you inspired!

Start Seeding Indoors

Not only is starting indoors a cheaper option than buying starter plants, it also brings an earlier harvest and greater yield. Fortunately, this process is fairly simple and is begun by filling containers with a potting mix and moistening the soil with water. After that, poke holes in the soil and sprinkle 2-3 seeds over. Lastly, cover the seeds with soil, spritz the surface with water, and place them in a warm location that receives 12-16 hours of light a day. When the seedlings get too large for their containers, be prepared to move them into individual pots!

Get Your Soil Ready

Soil becomes depleted of nutrients over the course of a growing season, so preparing your soil for the upcoming season is vital to the overall performance of the garden. The process of revitalizing soil involves adding materials to enhance or repair the soil’s components and should begin two to four weeks before planting. Soil kits from local home improvement stores are readily available and test the type and pH of the soil. This determines what kind of modifications your soil needs and leads to much healthier soil and plants.


Plant as Soon After the Last Frost Date as Possible

North Carolina has a great climate for growing. The cool springs, warm summers, and mild winters allow you to grow a wide variety of plants while taking advantage of the moderate temperatures for working. It also means you can plant and receive a harvest earlier. In North Carolina, the last frost date falls between the end of March and the beginning of May depending on the location in the state. Check out this handy planting guide to find out when to plant in your location!


Prune Shrubs and Trees

Pruning helps stimulate plant growth and improves the overall appearance of the tree or shrub. Pruning at the incorrect time, however, can cause irreparable damage so be careful to do it properly. In the spring, be mindful to only prune plants that have bloomed on new growth. Plants are still dormant in late winter and early spring so pruning them will not diminish their surge of spring energy. Plants that bloom on last year’s growth should be cut once their last flowering is over.

Add Mulch

Adding several inches of mulch around garden beds can save yourself a lot of time in the long run. Mulch has the important task of reducing weeds, mitigating disease, saving water, and moderating soil temperatures. Pine bark and straw are popular choices given the abundance of pine trees in North Carolina, but there are many other types to choose from. Pick a mulch that fits your specific landscape and preference the best. Here’s an easy-to-use guide to help. Lastly, don’t forget to water the soil before and after the mulch is spread and to keep the mulch a few inches away from plant stems.

Following these spring gardening tips will help ensure your growing season is a success!

For gardening workshops and classes in the Piedmont area, check out the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Hillsborough Garden Club events!