Planning Your Spring Garden

woman having a coffee break while working in the garden

There’s a lot more that goes into planning your spring garden than you might think. You need to consider the planting space that’s available to you, the amount of sunlight your plants require and how soon you want to harvest your plants. Planning your spring garden is a fun and exciting way to prepare for the oncoming warmth, sunshine and delicious produce. Check out our tips to get the most out of your garden this year.

Which Plants do You Want to Grow?

Your choice of plants might be limited by the climate of your region or the space available to you to plant your garden, but we’ll get more into that shortly. For now, just dream on. Envision your ideal garden with its abundant greenery. Do you want to grow primarily fruits? Vegetables? Or maybe you just want an aesthetic flower garden?

Whatever your fancy, start doing your research when you’ve narrowed down your choices. Check gardening websites, magazines and books to read up on the requirements of the plants you want to grow. You can even request free seed catalogs online or pay a visit to your local home and garden store. It’s never too early to stock up on seeds when you’re planning your spring garden.

Where Should You Plant Your Garden?

The location of your garden is an important factor when deciding which plants to grow. If your space is limited and you only have an option or two for where you’re able to plant your garden, this may decide for you what plants you’ll be able to grow. If you have a larger space though, you have more options in terms of what you’ll be able to plant.

Certain plants require shadier areas with less direct light, while others thrive in areas with all the sunshine they can get. Some plants like rich, dark soil, while some plants prefer lighter, sandy soil. Consider which plants you want to grow and their lighting and soil needs before you decide where to plant your garden.

When you’ve found the perfect spot, map it out before you start planting. Sketch out a grid of your garden on a sheet of paper that’s somewhat to scale. This allows you to visualize how much space you have and how much space each plant needs so you don’t wind up overcrowding your garden.

Start Planting Those Seeds!

Once you have your seeds and know where you need to plant them, you need to figure out when you want to harvest your fruit and vegetables, should you choose to plant any. This requires you knowing your plants’ germination time, their hardening-off period, how long it takes them to mature and your region’s approximate last frost date.

To demonstrate this, let’s use scotch bonnet peppers as an example. These peppers take 14-21 days to germinate, or emerge from their seeds and grow roots. Six to ten weeks after they germinate, they can be hardened-off, or planted. And it takes them about 120 days to mature, which means they’re ready to harvest. If the last estimated frost date in your area is April 14, you can begin planting your seeds in the ground anytime thereafter.

If you want to plant your seeds on April 14, we need to go back an average of eight weeks to allow your peppers to harden-off. This brings us to February 17, but we still need to go back at least 14 days to allow for their germination. This takes us back to February 3, the date you need to start your seeds if you want to plant them as soon as possible.

Planning Your Spring Garden in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge is a great place to start planning your spring garden. We have one of the most temperate climates in Canada, with over 1400 hours of annual sunshine to keep your plants alive and thriving. Average temperatures of 17.5 degrees C in July and 1.8 degrees C in January means that springtime in Maple Ridge will provide your garden with ideal mid-range temperatures. Our lively community will love to meet you and see what you have growing, so check out our properties today.

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