Gardening Season Has Begun

An unusually cold and rainy spring has finally given way to warm and sunny weather in most of the country. If you haven’t yet planted your summer #vegetable or #flower #garden, there is no time like the present.

While starting seeds indoors is the #thriftiest option, you’ll likely need to turn to the local garden center for plants that are ready to go into the ground. Now is the perfect time to plant summer-maturing plants such as corn and tomatoes.

All is not lost if you start a little late, Gilmour says. You can plant a couple of weeks late in the season, or choose vegetables, fruits and flowers that thrive and produce late in the growing season.

You’ll need to prepare the soil for whatever plants you pick. Vegetables grow best in rich, crumbly, loam soil, says Family Handyman. Tilling and amending sandy or clay soils with compost, peat, manure and other soil builders can help plants thrive.

After planting, press the soil surrounding your seedling firmly in place and water as needed. You may need to support plants such as tomatoes (which grow too tall to support their own weight) or send out vines (like grapes and beans).

Why do all of this? Because you can often get a much more flavorful and nutritious end product than you’d ever be able to buy at the grocery store at a fraction of the price. We at The Organizing Blog plant a variety of tomatoes every year for that simple fact. Is there anything better than a #homegrown tomato?

If you prefer decorative gardening, a perennial garden only requires a little bit of thinning each year. That said, you’ll want to weed and tend any beds soon, and help new plants get established to fill in any bare spots.

Container gardens, too, are an excellent option for those low on space. To slash the cost of getting started or adding to a container garden, shop the #thrift stores supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org for lightly used pots and window boxes.

Whatever you decide to grow, gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby that requires only a little bit of attention each week. And the time to get started is now!

Test Your Garden Soil Before Planting

Ensuring that your garden soil has a balanced pH and is fed the proper nutrients can help your summer vegetable garden produce better and make flowering plants flourish. “Experts recommend testing garden soil every three to five years,” Proven Winners says, to see what soil elements are lacking or overly abundant. Then, you can apply products that help get your soil into the proper balance. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with a layer of compost or manure, plus a plant food that’s designed for your selection of plants and amends any deficiencies in your soil’s makeup.

Tend to Tomatoes Now for Late-Summer Bounty

Is there anything better — or harder to replicate at the grocery store — than a home-grown garden tomato? Many parts of the country are still too cool to put tomatoes in the ground, but it won’t be just a couple of weeks until seedlings have the sun and warmth they need. For best results, bury seedlings deep to cover their stems and pinch off the “sucker” blossoms that form in the branch crotches of maturing plants, The Spruce says. Give plants plenty of water and sunlight, and in approximately 75 to 90 days, you’ll have a bumper crop to share.

Start Your Garden With Root Vegetables and Greens

The final frost of the season is now history in most parts of the country, so it’s safe to sow new annuals, perennials and and edible garden. Sow the seeds of cold-tolerant root #vegetables such as carrots and radishes first, alongside fast-sprouting leafy greens such as Swiss Chard and spinach; then move on to hot-weather starter plants such as tomatoes and peppers. If you’re looking for color rather than a meal, snapdragons, alyssum and marigolds can go into your garden and window boxes now, House Beautiful says.

It’s (Probably) Time to Plant Your Vegetable Garden

Last year, there was a huge uptick in vegetable #gardening after the #COVID-19 lockdowns went into effect. If you were among those who took up a new hobby to keep busy in your extra at-home time, you know that vegetable gardening offers its own rewards in healthy, flavorful nutrition. But even if you didn’t, it’s time to put some of your favorite herbs, fruits and vegetables in the ground! Check out this handy planting calendar from Gilmour to determine when to plant in your area.