Avoiding the 3 biggest spring planting mistakes.

Spring is here and its time to get gardening! Or is it?

If having a great garden and gorgeous flowerbeds are high on your list this year – then its important to eliminate a few key spring planting mistakes that can turn your gardening dreams into a nightmare.

Let’s take a look at some common miscues, and how to avoid them.

3 Biggest Spring Planting Mistakes

Planting Too Early

Planting too early is a big one! Just because those pretty flowering annuals and vegetable plants are on display at your local nursery, don’t think its time to be planting them in the ground.

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Digging and planting in wet soil is a big no-no!

Whether its flowers for the flowerbeds, or vegetable plants for the garden, putting plants in too early can have season-long implications for the health and wellness of plants. Planting too early can mean risking plants to a deadly frost or freeze. A single night of the thermometer dropping below the freezing mark can spell a quick death for plants.

And even if it doesn’t frost or freeze, cool soil and air temperatures can stall a plant’s growth. Warmer soil is better soil, so be patient and let the ground warm for best results.

Check with your local extension office to see what your average last frost date might be, and be sure to plant at least a week or two later. There is nothing worse than spending big money on plants, only to watch them damaged by frost. I cringe every year when I see folks putting annuals and vegetable plants into the ground here in Ohio in April. It might be warm for a day or two – but it usually spells trouble.  See : How To Prepare Plants For Life Outdoors

Not Letting Plants Get Accustomed To The Outdoors

Hand in hand with the first mistake is giving plants a chance to get accustomed to the outdoors before planting.

Vegetable and flower plants grown from seed or purchased from a nursery need time to prepare for life outdoors. This process is called hardening off. Up until the time vegetable transplants go in the ground, plants have had an easy life. They have been sheltered in the home or in a greenhouse – and need a bit of time to get used to the great outdoors.

Plants need time to adjust to the wind, lighting and temperature swings of the outdoor life. It is important to get them acclimated. Set plants outside on a porch or protected area for a few days to let them adjust, bringing them in at night if temps get too cold. And when you do plant, give them a great planting hole. We mix compost, and of course, worm castings into every planting hole we dig. It is an amazing combination that provides incredible nutrients for our plants.  Product Link : Worm Castings – The Perfect Fertilizer

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Remember that snow can still fall after a few warm days!

Working The Soil When It’s Too Wet

There is no better way to stunt a plant’s growth than to plant it in wet, clumpy soil.

Spring rains and cool temperatures can leave soil soggy. Not only can it be hard to work, it can make life tough for tender young plants that get placed into it.

Good plant health starts with good soil structure. Soil that is clump free can allow air and nutrients to plants roots. Soil that is mucky and wet can actually do the opposite and suffocate tender young seedlings.

Let soil dry out before planting. When digging in flowerbeds or the garden, soil should fall of the shovel and be clump free. If you dig down and the soil clings together – that is a sign to wait!  See Getting The Garden Off To A Great Start

Happy Gardening! Jim and Mary! To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.

7 thoughts on “The 3 Biggest Spring Planting Mistakes Made In Gardens And Flowerbeds!

  • May 1, 2018 at 9:34 am
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    Jim and Mary…..Love your articles. I have about a 15′ by 15′ square garden plus a number of raised beds. I do similar to square foot gardening. With block wall caps for walkways. This year I put in a long row of 2 yr old asparagus crowns. I’m also trying broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and collards for the first time. So far, so good. I plant Armenian cucumbers for pickling. Didn’t have much luck with pickling cucumbers. I buy amendments for my garden. I’m trying compost bins for the first time this year and it’s either too wet or too dry. Can you give me some more pointers on getting the mixture right?

  • April 29, 2018 at 10:42 am
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    I’m guilty almost every year of planting too early and this year was no exception. This year the weather has been so wacky, it will be very late before I get the first tomato.
    Rosemary in SC

    • April 30, 2018 at 12:27 pm
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      We have to resist the urge to plant early too – we just get so excited to get the garden started!

  • April 29, 2018 at 8:29 am
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    Jim and Mary, your blog has helped me so much in planning my garden. 🙂 It will be small because the soil has all the nutritional value of crumbled styrofoam. Just Florida sand.

    • April 30, 2018 at 12:26 pm
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      I am glad we could help at least a little Christina – yes, the soil in SW FL is very different than here in Ohio! Good luck!

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