Planting seems easy but there are some elements to it that we tend to miss. Now that spring is almost here, we at Tending To His Garden are here to provide you with our Spring Planting Guide to be better prepared for this planting season. While some of the reasons for early spring planting are very similar to fall planting, getting plants into the ground in March and April has some unique benefits that can transform your yard from good to great. As the weather starts to warm up, plants and roots start to grow. Here in Florida the summers are so hot and the bugs are plentiful, therefore the spring is the best time to get those plants in the ground to get prepared for the summer heat. So let us start with our Spring Planting Guide!
First Tip: Clean your tools to ensure there are no soil pathogens, bacterial infections or fungal spores that you can’t see
You can do this simply by soaking your tools with 10% bleach and 90% water for 30 min, then rinse with clean water. There are other commercially sold products to clean your tools, but this method is inexpensive and readily available making this chore less of a process.
Second Tip: Remove any weeds from planting beds
When weeds pop up among your flowers, it can ruin the whole show. You can use a scuffle hoe to weed while you are standing up. For those weeds that have deep root systems, you will need a different approach. Using a forked weeding tool or a garden knife for these scenarios will work best; just remember to wear gloves to add safety.
Third Tip: Do a soil test for nutrients and pH test so you are giving your plants the best option for being healthy
You can send soil samples to your local extension office for a small fee or purchase commercially grade ones.
Plant Nutrients – There are (16) Essential Elements – N – nitrogen, P – phosphorus & K – potassium are the main macronutrients you will see on fertilizers. Ca – calcium, Mg – magnesium, S – sulfur are other macros as well as C – carbon, H – hydrogen & O – oxygen which are derived from air and water. The 7 remaining elements are B – boron, Cu – copper, Fe – iron, Mn – manganese, Mo – molybdenum, Zn – zinc and Cl – chlorine are referred to as microelements. Although the amounts of these for plant growth are low, they are still essential. Micronutrients are the elements most often affected by PH.
Most plants like a moderately acidic ph (but not all – it’s important to know what your plants like) which is 6.0 – 6.5. (ph scale value 10.0 strong alkalinity – 4.0 strong acidity, 7 is neutral)
Fourth Tip: Ad nutrients/fertilizers to your soil as needed once your tests come back
A couple weeks prior to planting is good for most organic fertilizers, as it gives the nutrition time to spread throughout the soil. However, you can work in a slow-release granular fertilizer as this time for long-term nutrient boosts.
We hope that you learned something new by reading our Spring Planting Guide article. If you are also looking for additional tips for your Florida yard, kindly visit our Best Practices for Florida Yards blog post.