Are you eager for winter to be over so you can get back to gardening? You don't have to wait â€” depending on where you live, you'll be able to start planting soon, even if it's just starting your seeds indoors for later transfer to your outdoor garden! This article will help you to understand what you can start planting and when.
Understanding Hardiness Zones
The USDA Hardiness Zone Map provides gardeners with helpful comparisons between their own climate and that of areas where a certain plant is known to grow well. You'll also frequently see hardiness zones listed on packages of seeds or in gardening catalogs. You can find your own hardiness zone by entering your zip code on the Hardiness Zone Map. This can give you a good starting point for deciding what and when you can plant, and whether you should start seedlings indoors in the meantime.
Plants to Start Indoors in February
You can get a head start on gardening by planting a few things indoors for later transplant into your outdoor garden. Whether you want to grow vegetables, herbs, fruits, or flowers, you have options.
If you're interested in peppers, summer squash, or tomatoes, it's a good idea to start them now and raise them indoors for about six to eight weeks before moving them outdoors when the tomatoes and peppers are about 8" tall. You can also start broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and a few other vegetables depending on your hardiness zone.
Most herbs will do great if started indoors in February, including parsley, oregano, basil, dill, sage, thyme, and mints. Don't transplant basil and parsley outdoors until the temperature won't be likely to drop below freezing.
For fruits, since melons have a long growing season it's smart to start them indoors. You can start strawberries too after about six weeks of cold. When the seedlings have three leaves, harden them off and transplant them to the garden.
An early start on flowers will help you feel closer to springtime. Impatiens, snapdragons, delphinium, and a few others can be started from seed in February, but they'll need gradual exposure during the proper time to survive being moved outdoors. Check your hardiness zone to figure this out.
Planting in March
By March, you should begin preparing your lawn and garden for spring. Depending on your hardiness zone you can start several plants directly in your garden in March, if you opt against starting them inside earlier. You can plant any of the above fruits, herbs, and vegetables if the weather is favorable enough, with the addition of peas, carrots, corn, beets (this is a great time for them), cucumbers, onions, and spinach.
You can start some summer-blooming annual flowers indoors now for later transplant outside, and begin planting bulbs like lilies, gladiolas, and dahlias. These you can keep planting every two weeks until June so you'll have constant blooming.
Planting in April
April is a fantastic month for planting and you can get away with planting nearly any vegetable or herb in your garden! If you love beans, it's finally warm enough to plant them too. Berries can be planted now and do best in full sun.
If you want flowers, now is a good time for planting summer-flowering bulbs, some of which you may have started earlier indoors like lilies, gladiolas, and dahlias. Annuals like zinnias, marigolds, asters, and cosmos can be planted now.
Garden Supplies and Maintenance
Midland Hardware has everything you need to maintain your garden and care for your growing plants. If you want to get small children involved this year, we also have kids' gardening supplies including the My First Garden Kit from Crayola â€” it actually comes with everything needed to grow tomatoes.
Living in an urban apartment doesn't preclude you from gardening, either. Supplies like the Peat Strip Windowsill Greenhouse let you garden in even a small area with no lawn.
If you need any supplies at all, check out our selection and you're sure to find what you need, wherever you are and whatever your garden looks like.