Early spring is a great time to get a head start on sowing your garden for the upcoming growing season. Whether you’re planting a garden of vegetables or a flower garden, there are several species that can, and should, be planted now for optimal growing conditions. Some plants thrive in the cooler temperatures of early spring, while others require more time to grow. Pick a few and get started this weekend to keep your garden blooming all season long!
A lingering chill in the air doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t plant flowers yet. Some hardy species actually prefer to be planted during the cool temperatures of early spring.
Pansies – Perhaps the most popular early season flowers, pansies are favored by many gardeners for their beautiful mix of colors and relatively simple growing needs. Pansies enjoy the cool weather of early spring and should be planted in well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded area.
Bloodroot – Bringing light to more shady gardens, bloodroot’s delicate white flowers have a hardy nature. Bloodroot can be first seen in March and will bloom continually until late spring or early summer. Bloodroot prefers shaded areas and moist soil, so it is a great option for shady or woodland yards.
Lilac – Lilac is a great choice for early spring, and its blooms add a beautiful, pastel touch to any garden. It has a sweet, buttery fragrance, and it comes in a range of sizes from shrubs to trees. Lilacs prefer full sun and well-drained soil and grow well on old wood. Don’t prune until after the blooms have finished.
Iris – Although irises don’t bloom until late spring, they can be planted early in the season, and their blooms are well worth the wait. These flowers come in every color you can imagine, and they grow to almost 3 feet tall. They make a versatile addition to any style of garden.
Crocus – Crocuses, the infamous herald of spring, are planted from bulb tubers (corms) and begin blooming as early as February. They range in size and color, making them applicable for a variety of garden types. Crocuses prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
Tulips – Tulips, like Crocuses, are planted from bulbs, and they’re just as hardy and versatile. They are well suited in garden styles ranging from formal to casual and natural. Tulips come in a variety of colors and heights, and they prefer full sun and well-drained soil.
Bluestar – These star shaped, light blue flowers add a soft texture to any garden. In the fall, this tall plant turns to bright yellow foliage, meaning these flowers are eye-catching through spring, summer and fall. Bluestar can get up to 3 feet tall, and it prefers full sun and moist soil.
Hydrangea – Hydrangeas have large, colorful blooms and foliage full of texture. These shrubs should be planted in early spring. They will bloom in late spring and throughout the summer. Hydrangeas prefer partial shade and moist soil. Blooms will change color based on the pH of the dirt; more alkaline levels will produce pink flowers, while more acidic soil will produce blue flowers.
Hellebore – Also known as Lenton rose, Hellebore flowers early in the spring and can tolerate light frost if planted in warmer climates. Hellebore can get up to 12 inches tall and prefers shade and well-drained soil. Its cheerful yellow cup-shaped flowers are a welcome sight after a long winter.
Some vegetables are best when planted in spring, giving them a longer time to grow and mature with flavor.
Broccoli and Cabbage – Broccoli and cabbage prefer the cool growing season of early spring, and are best when planted in early to mid-April, although prolonged periods of temperatures below 50 degrees can cause them to grow incorrectly (buttoning).
Onions – Onions should be planted as early as possible in the spring, basically as soon as the ground is able to be tilled. They prefer well-drained soil and will be ready for harvesting in late summer.
Remember to design your garden early and plan for planting times, rotation, and bloom times. With careful and thought-out design, you can have a garden that blooms for the majority of the year and changes with each season. There are a multitude of online resources to help you design the layout and forecast growing times. Start planning now, and enjoy a season full of colorful and fragrant blooms!
Photographer Hans Braxmeier offered the photograph of Pansies under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer GARDNBABBA offered the photograph of Bloodroot under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Kapa65 offered the photograph of Lilac under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer LoggaWiggler offered the photograph of Iris Blue Flower under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Hans Braxmeier offered the photograph of Crocus under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer PeterKraayvanger offered the photograph of Tulips under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Hans Braxmeier offered the photograph of Blue Star Flower under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Marmax offered the photograph of Hydrangea under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Passagere offered the photograph of Hellebore under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer PDPics offered the photograph of Broccoli under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Avantrend offered the photograph of Onions under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay
Photographer Unsplash offered the photograph of Kale under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay