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When to plant a garden

When is the best time to plant a garden?


As the seasons change, many people are inspired to try new things, such as planting a new garden. However, if you don’t have a natural green thumb, it can be hard to tell the best time to start. You don’t want to prepare too early, or your seeds won’t root into the soil. Too late, and they will miss their window to bloom.  

The ideal time to start a new garden is in the milder seasons, specifically spring and fall. Exercise your green thumb this year by creating a space full of flowers, vegetables or anything else you want to see grow.


The time of year when the weather starts to warm is the best time for planting a garden. The sun heats the soil and the animals come out to play and procreate. They spread seeds and pollen all along the way. Whether it’s flowers, trees or veggies, spring creates a lively atmosphere perfect for the growth of new life. 

The changing weather brings with it the main ingredient for living: rain. Storms make their way across the land and enrich the soil. Planting a garden in the spring lets you use all of nature’s gifts to provide yourself with the best possible growth. 


Springtime is the best time to plant most vegetables. Cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, onion and many other veggie breeds grow best in the spring. Even some fruits that are often confused with vegetables thrive best when planted in the spring. The cucumber masquerades as a veggie, but it is actually a fruit that grows well this time of year. The tomato, actually from the berry family, is often grown with springtime vegetables as well. 


If you are looking to beautify your garden with fresh flowers, spring provides the ideal environment for many breeds. April showers bring May flowers, after all. Pansies, summer lilies, and hydrangeas all bloom in the spring. There are even breeds of flowers such as bluebonnets, the Texas state flower, that only bloom around this time of year. People travel from long distances to see flowers in different regions that only emerge in the spring. 


If you miss the spring window, autumn is another good time of year to plant your garden. Cool-season crops are best planted in the fall, when the temperatures start to drop from the summer’s roaring heat. Some vegetables don’t need long to grow and can be harvested before the winter comes. 

Fall is also an ideal time to prepare for a garden the following spring. Planting in the fall allows a proper climate for some vegetables and flowers that need time to settle into their environment. They root in the soil, staying dormant until the cold weather passes, then sprout up and bloom when the weather warms again. 


Some vegetables are adaptable and can be planted in either spring or fall. They can be harvested multiple times over the year and as long as the crops avoid too long a frost, they will survive. There are seedlings from vegetables such as beets, broccoli, arugula and garlic that are all able to be planted around this time of year. 


Some flowers bloom best when planted in autumn. Pansies, spring bulbs, trees and shrubs can all be planted in fall soil. As the weather cools, the soil allows appropriate temperatures for root development. This lets the new foliage settle into its home before the winter comes. You should, however, consider covering any young, growing plants during freezing temperatures. Some can also be brought inside if potted or made to be transportable. 


Certain kinds of crops will grow year round. Lettuce, carrots, onions and beets grow and produce at any time. This does require healthy soil, proper care and preparation. In fact, to get through every season, you may need to have a space available to store crops that won’t outlast a major freeze or winter storm.

Pansies, snapdragons and several other flowers can offer glorious color to your space in every season. Plant these in your yard, greenhouse or pots around the house to bring the smells of a fresh garden into your space all year. 

What you need to buy for a garden

Open Seed Vault Survival Garden Vegetable Seed Variety Pack

This mixture includes 15,000 assorted vegetable seeds for your garden. It comes with easy-to-understand instructions for planting carrots, beans, tomatoes, lettuce and much more.

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Burpee Organic Potting Soil

This blend of soil is ideal for planting or refreshing your garden. It is formulated to promote seed growth and healthy roots for flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs or anything else you might want.

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Tierra Garden DeWit Forged Hand Trowel

This is a sturdy, well-built hand trowel for everyday gardening activities. It is easy to use and is designed to dig, cut roots or clear weeds as needed. 

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Fiskars All-Steel Pruning Shears

A non-slip rubber grip gives you a firm hold while gardening and a self-cleaning sap groove keeps the blades from sticking. The pruning shears provide clean cuts with a sharp, rust-resistant blade designed to make short work of wood up to five-eighths of an inch thick. 

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Behrens 2½-Gallon Steel Watering Can

This is a durable steel watering can in a classic style with a handle for easier pouring. It’s recyclable as well as weather resistant. 

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Amazing Stuff for You Gardening Gloves

These durable gloves are made from a breathable fabric ideal for gardening. They have a grippy coating that lets you tend to your garden with precision and ease. 

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Erica Redding writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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