Start planning your spring garden

Start planning your spring garden

Gardening is a relaxing, productive activity for people of all ages. It can be a solitary, meditative practice or a shared social activity between neighbors, friends and family members. Gardening also provides some impressive health benefits. It can reduce stress, clear your mind and boost your mood. But before you reap all the benefits of gardening, you’ve got some planning to do.

Picking a garden plan

Whether you're trying to improve your home’s curb appeal with some flowers, to grow healthy fruits and vegetables or just to attract butterflies and birds, there’s a garden design plan for you. If you're short on yard space or live in an apartment or condominium, you may want to consider a simple container or window box garden, or you can opt to work in a nearby community garden.

The amount of sunlight or shade your garden will receive and the type of soil you'll be working with are also factors in picking the right plants for your garden. Be sure to consult with the gardening expert at a local nursery or home improvement store regarding the types of plants that thrive in your area’s soil type and the varying degrees of sunlight and shade your space receives on a daily basis. Also, consider what types of plants grow well throughout the spring, summer and fall gardening seasons. Again, you can always consult with your local gardening expert.

What to plant in your garden

Of course, one of the primary goals for many gardeners is to produce beautiful blooms. Phlox, sage, asters, coneflowers, peonies, hibiscus, Black-eyed Susans and daylilies are all relatively low-maintenance perennial plants that boast eye-catching flowers. You may also want to cultivate and harvest a variety of easy-to-grow herbs and vegetables, including rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint. Nutritious garden fruits and vegetables include a wide variety of berries, tomatoes, peppers and lettuces as well as beans, beets, radishes, carrots and other root vegetables.

Climate and temperature play a big part in determining which plants will thrive in your garden. The USDA divides the country into plant hardiness zones, which allow gardeners to select plants best suited to their region. Northern Indiana is located in Zone 5b. If it sounds complicated, don't worry—local nurseries and garden centers usually carry seeds and plants that are right for your region. In general, the seasonal climate of Zone 5b allows the successful growth of a wide variety of flowering plants and vegetables. If you’re planning on planting vegetables this season, you may also want to follow these regional growing tips.

Posted: 3/18/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: Garden, Gardening, Spring

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