Homeowners throughout the country love the first days of spring, where the clear, sunny days and warm temperatures introduce another exciting season for planting. But with seasonal gardening, you never have to wait for a particular season — now you can maintain a gorgeous, budding garden any time of the year, even through winter! With a bit of understanding of seasonal gardening, any lawn enthusiast can achieve success in their gardens whenever they want. Read on below to learn more.
Seasonal gardening is different from regular gardening in the sense that it can be done during any season and any time of the year. With seasonal gardening, it’s possible to grow a magnificent garden whenever you please. All you need to know is how to work with different seasonal conditions instead of against them.
One of the most important parts of seasonal gardening is thinking ahead of seasonal transitions. This means that you need to consider which plants are in season now and which ones to plant today to get blooms in the next season. Here is a thorough look at the various planting seasons, along with the factors to consider when building your seasonal garden.
For both experienced and novice gardeners, spring is often the most exciting and satisfying time of the year. As the weather gets warmer, thawing frost, and melting ice, it can be tempting to jump straight into planting. However, you need to recognize the huge change that the environment is exposed to when springtime comes.
While spring is one season, it would be helpful to break it down into three “mini-seasons” based on where you live and the climate’s frost-free date. Knowing more about these mini-seasons is the key to understanding seasonal gardening because it helps to know which plants are in season and which will need to wait.
It’s also important to remember that when you want to plant for the spring season, take the time to arrange your garden first before you select plants. A great addition to your lawn during spring is herb and vegetable gardens. When you’re ready to start, be sure to plant your seeds in a small zigzag model, instead of straight lines to encourage even absorption of water and sunlight.
Summer is a very hot season for plants, so the most important thing to do is to water your plants during these dry days. Because there won’t be a lot of rain during this season, provide your seeds with water a few times a day, especially after you plant them into the dry soil. Weeding is also a critical step when you’re gardening on hot days — you can do a little bit at a time or you can do a thorough weeding every week.
Waiting longer than a week before doing any weeding can spell trouble for your plants, so always remember to do this. As you move on from summer and into early fall, you’ll see that some plants will have reached maturity, so you might want to take them out and replace them with other crops. Make sure that you plan out these successive plantings to ensure a smooth transition for the new plant.
The best time to give your plants water during summer is in the early morning or the evening. If you’re looking for flowers that will cope well with heat, consider using the following:
- Snake plant
- Spider plant
- Bamboo palm
- Chinese banyan
- And more
You can also opt for plants that will stay in place and grow throughout the season with long-season crops such as squash or tomatoes.
According to experts, fall is one of the best times to create a garden since the growth of seeds and plants requires minimal effort. As the days become shorter and the weather becomes colder, some plants can begin to die out even before the frost comes. Look for the weather online or in newspapers to check when you might experience the first signs of frost in your area.
When you determine when the frost arrives, there are a few things you might want to do around your garden before this time comes, such as harvesting all your remaining plants. You should also get to cover the greens left behind or the other vegetables you have using a floating row cover which will provide them with warmth. During this time, you can also use that cover or another kind of season extension technique to start with a late crop of greens.
Using a cold frame, you can plant crops such as spinach around September and enjoy a harvest by October, November, or early December. Unfortunately, if you experience heavy rainfall or storms, seasonal gardening may be challenging and not all plants may survive during this time. Be sure to choose resistant plants such as indigo flower, Indian fleabane, cape jasmine, wild balsam, and monsoon cassia.
As we all know, winters can be very cold and harsh, where low temperatures and short day times won’t leave us with a lot of time to work on our gardens. Whenever you want to plant something, be sure that you pick plants best suited for the zone you live in. Depending on your climate, the weather can be tender, and cold, and it may even leave your garden frozen.
When you’ve done a bit of preparation during the fall months, there won’t be much to do during January and February, so you can take this time to think about what you want to grow after. Start by expanding your seed starting soil pods, which will make it so much easier to get started if you plan on having plants inside your home.
Apart from starting your indoor plants, you can use your cold frames to get started on an early crop of greens that can later be moved outside of the cold frame. Winter is an excellent time to plant stems, leaves, and roots. The best kinds of plants to use for cold weather are broccoli, spinach, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower.
There are plenty of benefits to practicing seasonal gardening apart from being able to grow plants, flowers, and vegetables any time you please, such as:
During the fall season, the warm soil can encourage root growth, which will keep growing through the winter. In areas with very low temperatures, this growth will stop once the ground freezes, but in areas with milder winters, the roots can continue to grow. By early spring, the roots can produce new growth or may continue developing faster, leading to top growth.
This means that no matter what season you choose to start, you’ll be able to see some kind of growth. By the time summer comes, you’ll have plants that are better equipped to handle the heat and drought thanks to an already established system of roots. Moreover, planting during fall is also a great choice because it provides cooler weather, rainfall, and fewer disease and pests.
While you may not realize it, a lot of physical activity is required in gardening, where you will often need to dig holes, rake leaves, plant seeds, and remove weeds. Doing these actions can help with building muscle strength and aid stretching. As such, it provides a low-impact and leisurely-paced exercise routine that can increase your daily activity and is suitable for those who are prohibited from having vigorous exercise.
When you practice seasonal gardening, you have unlimited access to fresh produce from your garden, where you know exactly where it came from and how it’s been handled. Seasonal gardening is an excellent way to increase your intake of plant-based foods while eating seasonal vegetables to optimize the number of nutrients you can benefit from. Moreover, you can use a wide range of crops and herbs to incorporate into your daily meals to make meals more healthy for the family.
When you enhance your property’s curb appeal, you can set your home apart from your neighbors where you can stand out from the sea of dull and lifeless backyards, especially during wintertime. This will also go towards an increase in your property’s value should you decide to sell it one day. Furthermore, potential buyers love to see a well-maintained property with a beautiful landscape.
Working on seasonal gardening will ensure that you have a gorgeous display all year long. Make sure to choose beautiful plants and functions, or you may even have both. Flowers with vibrant colors are sure to attract interested buyers while hardy crops will provide you with a harvest of your favorite vegetables and even herbs.
Before starting your collection of wonderful seasonal plants, flowers, and vegetables, there are a few things you should first take into account, including the following:
The environment and the climate where you live are essential when trying to determine the success you can reap from seasonal planting. Before getting started with digging holes in your backyard, be sure to do some research on your plant hardiness zone to determine what kind of plants will be a good fit for your environment. It’s also best to consider the soil type your property has to further help you along when choosing what type of plant to grow in your garden.
When talking about organic seeds, these refer to seeds that undergo the process of being certified organic, where they come from a parent plant grown on an organic farm. How it grows is then up to you — if you’re looking for organic produce then you’ll have to grow them yourself. However, be careful not to put any kind of product such as round-up to your plants, since it will no longer be considered organic.
Heirloom seeds, on the other hand, are those taken from plants that have been saved and passed down over many growing seasons or generations. This may be because the plant is resistant to harsh climates or disease, or maybe it has an exceptional beauty or flavor. No matter what the reason, be sure that if you buy heirloom seeds, you continue to save their seeds to be used again in the future.
Conventional seeds refer to seeds that can be bought anywhere and will often come at an affordable price. These will usually be genetically modified or hybridized, which isn’t necessarily bad — think of all the products you see in supermarkets, they all share a uniform look because of hybridization. These types of seeds will usually have a longer shelf life but they may not have as much flavor as others.
Natural pesticides or organic pest control measures refer to products that are developed using only natural sources, with little or no chemical additions. A good example of this is nicotine, a substance that is completely derived from nature — most notably, the tobacco plant. This plant produces nicotine for protection against insects, but while it is natural, it can also be highly dangerous and deadly.
However, there are also traditional sprays that are produced as a result of chemical alteration. Many of these are designed to eliminate a specific target, which in turn has very little risk for other species — what may be toxic for insects could have a small to no effect on dogs and cats. The other thing you need to consider though is that some synthetic pesticides are known to be mutagens, teratogens, or carcinogens.
Seasonal gardening can be a good practice to implement around your home, both in the front yard and backyard. By doing this, you can enjoy a wide variety of plants, crops, flowers, and produce all year round without having to worry about the changes in seasons. By familiarizing yourself with a few tips and tricks to use in each season, you can master this wonderful way of gardening no matter when you decide to start planting.