gardening-zones-southeast
courtesy usda.org

Herbs, veggies, flowers, fruits ( for those that don’t know what a ‘mater is) are all so much better if you grow them yourself.

Now, is the time to start planning, seeding, and getting your garden bed ready. Depending on where you live, you want to keep an eye on your extended weather forecast. While a late Spring frost is not out of the question every year, and generally can’t be accounted for, these guidelines and tips are pretty spot on.

What’s that map above y’all may ask? That’s the USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate planting zones; each growing zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. Good news for us in the South is we are in Zones 5-10, which means now is the time to plan your garden.

Here are some helpful tips for planning your garden:

  • Know what you want to grow: What will you eat?
  • Once you know what you want- How much room do you have to plant it? Vines take up less room than say lettuce, which take up less room than melons, so forth and so on. So space coordination is everything.
  • Now we know what we want and what we want to grow. Now we have to factor in shade, sun, and how much of each. Some things grow better with less sun, some with more.
  • Now that we factored in the 3 items above, grab a sheet of paper or one of those nice laptops you can draw on and plan out your garden. Plan for Spring and then Summer, and Fall.
  • Do your research. Google makes it easy. Talk to the locals. Ask a farmer. Not all soil is created equal.
  • You should at least be preparing your garden bed now. If it’s still a little frozen, gather your compost. Maybe your into composting. If not local farmers or nurseries can be helpful with the nutrient rich materials your soil needs. As soon as possible, start working it into the soil.
  • That piece of paper you planned on. Hold onto that. Make corrections as you plant. Don’t count on the old “stick and seed packet” marking method.
  • Have a piece of tarp of some type handy and some wights, just in case that late Spring frost comes in. Planning ahead will save you from scrambling later.

Now you have the garden planned. But when should you plant? Click here for March and April guidelines for our zones.

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