Spring garden tips
Spring is an active time in your garden. As the plants and ground wake up from their winter nap, it is time to get serious about your gardening to make sure that your crops are ready for the spring, summer, and fall.

Early spring
Early spring can still harbor some danger for your garden. The nights can reach freezing temperatures, thus destroying your hard work. Therefore, it is important to approach gardening in the early spring with cold temperatures in mind.

First start by preparing the ground in your garden. Early in the season, apply a 4-inch layer of ground up leaves or rotted manure. Turn it under to a depth of between 8-12-inches. Rake the garden until it is level so that spring rains do not leave pools of standing water. If moisture is a problem, you can always raise your garden bed to a height of 3 or 4 inches by mounding the soil.

Certain crops are a better choice for your garden in the early spring. For example, spinach, rutabagas, radishes, English peas, pod peas, leeks, collards, kale, and carrots can all handle a drop in temperature. Spring weather can take a surprisingly chilly turn, so plant accordingly.

Late spring
As the months progress and the temperatures warm up, you can add more crops to your garden. Now is the time to plant chard, mustard, lettuce, beets, Chinese cabbage, onions, seed potatoes, and transplants of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Your garden vegetables need lots of maintenance to ensure you have a continuous supply of crops. Fertilize with a layer of compost or one cup of granular fertilizer. Thin the lettuce so that it is 4 to 8 inches apart. Pick the outermost leaves of spinach, mustard, turnips, Swiss chard, collards, and kale. When these plants get long, they also get bitter. It’ then time to add them to the compost pile to make room for summer crops.

Just before summer
When the danger of cold weather is gone, it is time to plant your garden crops for the summer. Now is the time to plant tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

Two more points for your garden care: stay diligent about pulling weeds. Also, harvesting your vegetables encourages the plant to continue to produce more vegetables. The more you pick the vegetables in your garden, the more you’ll have to enjoy.