Many people anticipate the annual deluge of flowers and plants that occurs in spring and summer. It’s not too early to start planning what type of flora you want to have in your garden this growing season and to set a date for planting the seeds. For most growing zones in the U.S., you’ll want to plant the seeds after the first frost. Here are the seven flowers, vegetables and herbs we recommend planting this spring.
Morning glories make a vibrant addition to any garden. Soak the seeds in water for a day or two until the sprout head emerges, per Reader’s Digest. Next, place each sprout six inches apart in the ground and cover with about one-fourth inch of soil. Place the seeds next to a trellis or fence and watch the vines weave over the surface. Flowers might not appear until mid-summer.
Zinnias are another low-maintenance flower that thrives in many growing zones. They do best in full sun regions of the garden. Sow the seeds one-fourth inch deep and 2-24 inches apart depending on the zinnia variety, per Farmers’ Almanac.
Marigolds are one of the simplest flowers to grow from seeds, per Reader’s Digest. The cheery yellow and orange blooms will brighten up your garden, but they also repel insects, so consider placing them around deck and patio areas. Because they do best in well-drained soil, loosen the soil with a shovel and/or rake and remove rocks before planting the seeds. Sow the seeds 1 inch apart and approximately 1 inch deep.
If you appreciate fresh salads, why not consider growing lettuce? Per The Spruce contributor Marie Iannotti, the cool, damp weather of spring is the perfect environment for cultivating this plant. It’s best to plant lettuce from seedlings rather than seeds, as they are a bit sensitive to extreme temperatures. If you do choose to seed the plants yourself, do so indoors and wait until the first frost to transplant them to your garden. Make sure to barely cover the seeds with soil, advises Iannotti, since lettuce needs light to germinate.
For an easy-to-grow vegetable, it’s hard to beat rhubarb. If you’re a fan of root vegetables or strawberry rhubarb pie, it can be rewarding to grow it fresh in your garden. Plant one-year-old rhubarb crowns in the ground after the first frost. Place the plants about 4 feet apart and 1-2 inches below the soil. Cover with compost and any other organic matter to enhance the rhubarb’s growth.
Dill is a favorite herb to add to soups as well as to pickling recipes. Per Farmers’ Almanac, this plant also attracts wasps and other predatory insects to ward off garden pests. Sow the seeds 18 inches apart and one-fourth inch deep into the soil and gently rake the seeds. Make sure to shelter the plants from strong winds since they’re a bit delicate before becoming fully established.
Quintessential to Italian dishes, basil is a key ingredient for pesto and other tasty dishes. Sweet basil is the most commonly used variety, though you can also opt for lemon basil or Thai basil (the latter has a licorice flavor). Per Farmers’ Almanac, plant basil seeds inside about six weeks before the last frost in your growing zone. Make sure the soil is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit before transplanting the seedlings outside since basil needs heat to grow. Sow the seedlings one-fourth inch deep and 10-12 inches apart.
Consider planting one or more of these easy-to-grow varieties this spring to enjoy colorful booms and incorporate tasty flavors into your meals.