This article is for a beginner gardener only! This is my first spring/summer planting and growing seeds so there’s a lot of things I’m learning about gardening that I want to pass on to you. I’m definitely not an expert, but I’ve had some help from one! Our neighbor, David, has been extremely helpful at helping us plant our first garden, and he’s been doing it for over 50 years.
When Is The Best Time To Plant In Massachusetts?
The best time to plant a garden in Massachusetts depends on the type of plants you want to grow. Massachusetts experiences cold winters and warm summers. Here are some general guidelines for planting in the the Northeast part of the country.
Guidance For Cool-Season Crops
Many vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, peas, and carrots, thrive in cooler temperatures. These are known as cool-season crops, and can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring. This would be typically around mid to late April. These crops can also be planted in late summer or early fall for a second harvest before the frost.
In our garden, we planted romaine lettuce, spinach, and green beans. The romaine lettuce and spinach came up in no time, and went very quickly. I think in our next garden, we will have to have a specific raised bed just for spinach, romaine and kale.
Guidance On Warm-Season Crops
Plants like tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, and cucumbers require warmer soil and air temperatures to grow successfully. These are known as warm-season crops and should be planted after the threat of frost has passed. This would be typically around mid to late May in Massachusetts. You can start seeds indoors several weeks earlier and transplant them outdoors when the weather is favorable.
If you don’t want to start from a seed, you can go to any nursery, home improvement store such as Lowe’s or Home depot, or even Ocean State Job Lot. All of these stores have plants that have already grown from seeds. All you have to do it take them home and plant them in your garden!
We did this with all of the plants we had in our garden. We bought six tomato plants, many pepper plants including bell peppers, red peppers, jalapeño peppers, and sweet peppers. The peppers and tomatoes should start really producing edible food in August.
Guidance On Perennials and Bulbs
Perennial flowers, shrubs, and bulbs have specific planting times as well. The optimal time for planting perennials and bulbs depends on their specific requirements. Generally, spring-blooming bulbs like tulips and daffodils should be planted in the fall, while perennials can be planted in either spring or fall, allowing them enough time to establish their root systems before extreme weather.
Important Things To Remember For Beginner Gardeners
- Remember to consider the specific planting instructions provided on seed packets or plant labels, as different plants may have specific requirements for optimal growth. Additionally, it’s essential to monitor weather conditions and adjust your planting schedule accordingly.
- It’s also good to remind yourself, that it’s easier to buy the plants that are already partially grown at stores. It will take a lot longer to grow from seeds. I tried planting from seeds, and many of the seeds died, or never matured enough to plant in my garden (like those tomato seeds below).
- Plant a raised garden so the bunnies don’t get to your plants! We built a raised bed for this reason, and so far, so good. If you don’t have a raised garden, it might be worth putting some sort of netting or protective element over it so animals don’t get to your precious plants.
- Remember to provide adequate water, sunlight, and care for your plants, and embrace the joy of watching your garden thrive.
Pictures Of Our Hand-Built Garden
Major props to my husband, Rob, for building our garden from scratch! He went to Home Depot, bought all of the wood, and somehow built a raised garden bed from scratch. I can’t even begin to tell you how he did it, but I took some pictures to show you.
Here’s The Easiest Things To Plant In MA If You’re A Beginner Gardener
Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a small balcony, starting a garden can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. If you’re a beginner gardener in Massachusetts, here are some of the easiest plants to grow in your garden.