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Ready Your Garden for Spring

Planting Bed Preparation

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Spring is coming soon!  Here are some early spring tips for your garden.

Plastic sheeting to warm soilWarm Your Garden Before Planting

Pre-warm cold soil before sowing or transplanting warm-weather crops into the garden. Black or clear plastic sheeting is a simple and inexpensive way to warm the soil and get a jump on the growing season. Continue reading>>>

Cold frame siteCold Frame to Jump Start the Season

Use a cold frame to start seeds early and harden off seedlings. A cold frame is a low, bottomless box with a clear glass or plastic top, that is set on the ground or over a sunken bed. A cold frame can extend your growing season by 1 to 3 months. Continue reading>>>

Crop protection with fabric tunnelsRow Covers to Protect Plants from Early Chill

Floating row covers and plant blankets are an easy way to protect crops from chilly nights and light frosts. They are commonly made of lightweight spun-fabric cloth such as Reemay which lets water and light reach plants but keeps the chill off plants and warms the soil. You can use row covers to get an early start in spring and to extend the season in fall. Continue reading>>>

Container barrelVegetables for Growing in Containers

Because your container garden space is limited in size–including the depth of the soil for root growth–first, select a container that is big enough for the crop you want to grow, next choose crop varieties or cultivars that will grow well in containers. You will have success with vegetables that are described as “compact,” “bush,” or “dwarf.” Continue reading>>>

Lettuce in rowsVegetable Crops for Beginners

Beginning vegetable gardeners can be easily intimidated by the scores and scores of vegetable seed varieties available from even the smallest seed retailer. In reality, there are hundreds of vegetable varieties available in garden centers and online each year. What to plant? Continue reading>>>

Mulch of organic materialsNo-Dig, No-Till Vegetable Gardening

A no-dig, no-till garden bed can be made by laying down layer-upon-layer of organic materials that will decompose themselves into a nutrient rich planting bed for vegetables. This no-dig, no-till method has been the basis of Chinese vegetable gardening for thousands of years. Continue reading>>>

LilacsMarch Tips for Your Garden

March is a month of great transition in the vegetable garden. In the warmest regions–United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 9–spring has arrived and planting can begin during March. In USDA Zones 8 and 7, preparation for spring planting can begin in earnest this month, but sowing and transplanting out into the garden may be delayed by continuing cold weather. In USDA, Zones 6, 5, 4, and 3, winter weather and cold temperatures will surely keep you out of the garden this month. Continue reading>>>

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

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How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

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