Spring Gardening

Swiss Chard

Ah, springtime in North Carolina. Time to get out in the garden and… wait! If you are planting a spring garden – meaning a garden you’d like to eat from in the spring and early summer – you need to start before the Super Bowl and try to get your first plants in by Valentine’s Day. Yes, the ground is hard and you’ll need to bundle up, but when you’re harvesting fresh, healthy food while everyone else is just starting a summer tomato patch, you’ll be glad you did.

What should you plant and when?

You will likely plant most of the vegetables in a spring garden between February and April. Some vegetables thrive better when planted earlier (peas, onions, berries.) Others do best planted late in the season (cucumbers, eggplant.)

Some vegetables can be planted almost any time through the season. Check the planting guide below for more information on individual plants. And remember, planting both seeds and plants means you can harvest more food more often. A garden is for eating all year round, after all.

Get the kids involved!

Take your children to the gardening store (Psst… Renfrow Hardware in Matthews is a great one! Ask David for some help exploring.) Go through the seed bins and check out the cool names of some of the varieties. Talk about what your kids might like to grow and eat… and try some vegetables they don’t know. Kohlrabi, anyone?

Every garden needs flowers (and so do the bees that pollinate them!), so start flower seeds inside in small cups to transplant to the garden when it warms up outside.The more the children take part, the more likely they’ll taste the broccoli you grew together.

View suggested planting dates in the Charlotte area »

By Henry Owen with assistance from Kathy Metzo and Carol Adams