Even though we’ve still got a few months left of winter, it’s time to plan our spring gardens! The days are getting longer, and the sun is shining a little brighter, so if you’re into growing your plants straight from seed, early spring is a great time to start seeds indoors. Alternatively, if you’re hoping to pick up some starter plants to add to the garden, some prefer the cooler temperatures of spring rather than the scorching hot summer heat.
Timing is everything when it comes to laying out a successful vegetable garden, so a little pre-planning will go a long way. Here’s our 2020 guide on planning a spring vegetable garden in St. John or Frankfort so that you can enjoy delicious garden vegetables all season long. You can also check out our companion guide on how to grow microgreens!
P.S: if your vegetable garden is modestly sized, but you’ve still got a hankering for loads of fresh vegetables all through spring, summer, and fall, you’ll love our CSA program! Keep scrolling to find out more about this fantastic local initiative.
Fruits And Vegetables To Plant In Your Spring Garden
The last frost date here is usually around mid-May, which makes our growing season a bit shorter than more southerly states. Starting your seeds indoors is definitely recommended if you want to make sure you’ve got plenty of harvestable vegetables this year (aside from the few vegetables that mature particularly quickly)! It’s crucial to start your seeds in a sterile seed starter mix, such as Black Gold Seedling Mix, a moisture-retaining medium that is free of contaminants and weeds.
Starting them too early doesn’t often turn out well, because if they aren’t getting enough sunshine when they’re going into growth spurt mode, they’ll stretch out and get leggy and weak. If you start them too late, then your garden might not have many vegetables to harvest in time before it gets cold again.
April is a perfect time to start indoor seeding cabbage, celery, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Melons and brussels sprouts can be started indoors a little later, in May.
Some plants take a bit too long to mature, so you may as well buy starter plants to transplant directly into the soil so you don’t have to wait around as long. Kale, broccoli, beets, onions, lettuce, spinach, and carrot plants can all be added into the garden in April before the risk of frost ends because they’re a bit tougher to the cold than most other garden vegetables.
Lettuce, spinach, and other salad greens mature pretty quickly, so you can also get away with planting them later in May — just be sure to protect them from peak sunlight hours once summer rolls around, or else they might get a bit scorched.
Squash, gourds, and cucumber starter plants are also ready to get in the ground by May, but they take a little longer to mature.
Spring Planting Guide: Direct Seeding
There are a few plants that you can directly sow into the soil once the snow is gone, while still having enough time for them to reach full maturity. If you want to get a head start on growing, you can still start them indoors, but if you want to avoid the extra clutter of seed trays on your window sills, plant these guys in the soil between April or May:
The Best Supplies To Help You Plan Your Spring Garden
If you’re going to start your vegetable seeds indoors, having some self-watering containers made especially for seedlings will be of great help to you. Our coconut coir pellet self-watering greenhouse kit has 35 cells for seed starting, and it perfectly regulates moisture levels to prevent over- or under-watering. This controlled environment will help set your little baby plants on the best trajectory for a successful spring and summer growing in the garden.
Some of your vegetable plants, namely cucumbers and vining tomatoes, will need some extra support as they grow to keep them up off the ground. Our 48″ cucumber support folds open and closed for easy set-up and storage, and can be pressed directly into the garden soil so it won’t topple over.
Hungry squirrels, rabbits, and deer are notorious for terrorizing vegetable gardens in the spring, so some repellents will save you a lot of grief. Nothing ruins a gardener’s day like waking up to a garden that’s been feasted on by uninvited guests! We have several repellents in spray and pellet forms that are safe to apply around vegetable plants and won’t end up coating them in harmful chemicals, so it’s a good idea to apply them regularly. The scent won’t bug us, but local wildlife have pretty acute smell senses, so it’ll send them running for the hills.
Get Fresh Local Vegetables Delivered With Our CSA Program
Want a steady supply of fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, and herbs, every week from June until October? Then you’ll love our farm-to-table CSA program! At the start of the season, you can sign up and pre-pay to receive a total of 22 shares, with an overall discount of 20–30% compared to supermarket prices. It’s a real win-win; you’re supporting local, you’re getting the freshest possible garden vegetables, and you’ll save a ton of money, too!
The variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in our CSA shares is pretty impressive—we’ve supplied over 40 different edible plant varieties included in our veggie packs throughout the harvest season, and are always looking to expand or swap in new and exciting offerings. Even the most diehard gardeners out there aren’t likely to have quite that many fruit and vegetables to choose from in their backyard gardens!
There are half-shares and full-shares available, depending on your household size and how many vegetables you want. We even have a bonus add-on if you’d like some farm-fresh eggs with you order, too!
If you have any more questions about what kind of vegetables you can expect in our CSA share program, or if you need a little extra guidance on how to kickstart your spring garden, visit us at Alsip Home & Nursery! We’ll get you all set up with the right supplies, seeds, and starter plants for a full season bursting with tasty garden vegetables.