Over the past year we’ve tried almost anything to keep ourselves entertained, from buying an air fryer to testing the water on inflatable hot tubs, but one of our all-time favorite hobbies has been gardening. Although we may still need a coat to go outside – depending on where we are at home – we have spring in view and are ready to get our hands dirty again. STAT.
Mary Buri, garden designer and founder of Mars Kitchen Garden – a bespoke kitchen garden design, installation and coaching service – explains, “The cool temperatures of early spring provide an often overlooked opportunity for some of the easiest and most satisfying gardening chores all year round . Spring crops grow quickly, require minimal maintenance and watering, and avoid the greatest pest and disease pressures. With just a little late winter planning, you can watch flowers grow and harvest local vegetables before many of your neighbors even start. ”
Before getting into the spring gardening work, write down the frost dates for your area and maybe go old school and get a copy of this year’s Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Sweet Yards Seed Co. Calendula ‘Pacific Beauty Mix’, over 3,000 openly pollinated seeds ($ 7.95; amazon.com)
Sweet Yards Seed Co. Calendula ‘Pacific Beauty Mix’, over 3,000 openly pollinated seeds
Calendula’s orange petals stand out in any garden, but their color isn’t the only thing Buri loves about them. She says they are edible, medicinal, and “one of the easiest flowers to grow from seeds”. Plant the seeds in a container or directly in the vegetable patch up to three weeks before the last frost date. Buri advises that this edible herb can be happy in nearly any climate and graciously survive a sporadic watering habit.
Seed needs old spice-sweet pea, 400 seeds ($ 9.50; amazon.com)
Seed needs old spice-sweet pea, 400 seeds
“Don’t let the name fool you,” says Buri. “Enjoy the scent of the sweet pea, but don’t eat the slightly poisonous flowers.” Up to four weeks before the last frost date, plant sweet pea seeds in containers along with a trellis or something else for those brightly colored vines to climb, and let spring come early this year.
Bloomscape Red Geraniums Accent Kit ($ 45; bloomscape.com)
PHOTO: flower landscape
Bloomscape Red Geraniums Accent Kit
These large red geranium flowers will last all spring and come in a simple kit from Bloomscape. Three small starter plants are included, and Bloomscape offers to add a hanging or standing pot and potting soil to complete the purchase if you wish.
Outsidepride nasturtium seed mix ($ 12.99; amazon.com)
Outsidepride nasturtium seed mix
“Nasturtiums are beautiful and indispensable in the vegetable garden as a companion plant that keeps pests away from your precious vegetables,” says Buri. She plants these trailing flowers on the edges of raised beds or in hanging pots a week or two after the last frost date. Amazingly, all nasturtiums are edible – seeds, peppery leaves, and pretty flowers that are beautiful and delicious decorations for cakes, salads, or other plates.
Outsidepride Zinnia Flower Seed Mix, 1,000 seeds ($ 6.49; amazon.com)
Outsidepride Zinnia Flower Seed Mix, 1,000 seeds
These bright, colorful meadow flowers bloom profusely, can be cut to any length, and look great in tall vases. Buri advises planting zinnias “later in the spring, starting a week or two after your last frost date”. She also shares that the more they are cut, the more they grow. So, enjoy their beauty and edible petals as humanly as possible.
Bloomscape Red Begonia, Purple Torenia and Mezoo Combination Kit (from 45 USD; bloomscape.com)
PHOTO: flower landscape
Bloomscape Red Begonia, Purple Torenia and Mezoo combination kit
Choose from 8 or 16 starter plants that will fit in an 11- to 20-inch planter or window box. Their purple, pink, and red colors brighten any partially or fully shaded corner.
BeyondRoots 100% Edible Flower Seeds ($ 17.97; amazon.com)
BeyondRoots 100% edible flower seeds for planting
A quick way to get started is to purchase a kit like this one, which contains nine different genetically modified, non-GMO edible flower seed packets that are guaranteed to grow when planted within a year of purchase. That means almost any frost zone can be accommodated. Appreciate the flowering plants and the delicious abundance of lavender, echinacea, marigold, borage, wildflower, chamomile and Thai basil. The kit also includes handy plant markers.
Real Seed Rocket, 900 seeds ($ 5.49, originally $ 5.99; amazon.com)
Correct seeds arugula, 900 seeds
Buri shares that “Arugula and other greens like spinach and tatsoi grow the fastest and sweetest in cold weather, which is the closest thing to the instant salad satisfaction you can get this spring.” These seeds work well in pots or raised beds and can be harvested in around 20 days.
Seed of change snow pea snow peas ($ 5.36; amazon.com)
Seed of change snow pea snow peas
Not to be confused with the sweet pea flowers above. Snap peas, snow peas and peeling peas are edible and like to grow in pots and raised beds. “If you don’t have a gate to climb, no sweat. Just choose a compact, non-wine red variety labeled “dwarf” or “bush”. All peas taste best when they ripen before the warmth of early summer, ”advises Buri.
Bonnie Plants romaine lettuce ($ 3.98; homedepot.com)
PHOTO: Home Depot
Bonnie plants romaine lettuce
From spring onwards, kindergartens offer a multitude of wonderful salad starter plants. These live starter plants will give you a head start in your spring garden and harvest lettuce leaves throughout spring instead of waiting weeks for the first harvest from seeds.
Beyond Roots Certified Organic Garden Salad Vegetable Seeds ($ 15.97; amazon.com)
Beyond Roots Certified Organic Garden Salad Vegetable seeds
Why plant just one vegetable when you can plant the whole lettuce? This kit contains nine heirloom seed packets, plant markers and a nifty gift box. Enjoy your own cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, radishes, snow peas, arugula and basil.
2021 Old Farmer’s Almanac (starting at $ 2.99; amazon.com)
2021 Old Farmer’s Almanac
Since 1793, the old farmer’s almanac has provided practical information on farming, advice on life, and a healthy dose of humor. It has become an annual must-have for one of our editors.
Felco F-2 Classic Hand Cutter ($ 54.81, originally $ 73.99; amazon.com)
Felco F-2 Classic hand cutter
Although spring vegetables require little pruning, good scissors are essential for any gardener. “Felco 2 scissors are the gold standard,” says Buri. But she also loves straight scissors for delicate cutting work.
Homarden Copper Colored Watering Can ($ 24.98; amazon.com)
Homarden copper colored watering can
For small starter plants or container gardens, this stylish metal watering can is just as useful as it is beautifully displayed.
CraftAndCunning Macramé Plant Hanger (starting at $ 16.50; etsy.com)
CraftAndCunning Macramé Plant Hanger
We think hanging plants are very cool and keep smaller outdoor areas such as balconies free for pedestrian traffic. Made from recycled cotton macramé, this plant hanger is available in three different lengths and eight color options to add a bohemian touch to any spring growing plan. Note: These are delivered without a pot.
TheArtisanVariety Large Terracotta Belly Pot ($ 85; etsy.com)
TheArtisanVariety Large Terracotta Belly Pot
A spacious terracotta planter like this one is impressive when viewed indoors or outdoors. It’s a great home for larger plants, vegetables, and vines to thrive in.
Foyuee Raised Planter Box ($ 95, originally $ 109.99; amazon.com)
Foyuee Raised Planter Box
This premium, handy, raised planter comes on wheels and has a shelf underneath for extra storage space.
TheSnarkier High Stakes Eyes Trellis ($ 46.95; etsy.com)
TheSnarkier High Stakes Eye Grid
If a bit moody is on your spring garden list then this trellis is a win. It is 24 inches tall and features six hand-curved metal eye shapes that vines can climb on. Choose from a number of color combinations, then drop it into a 6-, 8-, or 10-inch pot for your favorite little vine.
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