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Spring is here!  Or is it?!  Finding the right time to start planting your garden can sometimes feel like a roll of the dice in Utah.  How do you weigh the risk vs. reward and figure out when is the right time to start planting?  And how can you make sure that your plants are safe once you have begun planting?  These tips and tricks to gardening will help you know when to start planting and how to give your plants the best opportunity for continual growth!

Take some time to come up with a plan.  You don’t want to just rush into things.  Different types of seeds require different types of care.  Some seeds, like peas, greens, and other garden crops require the best conditions.  You’ll want to make sure to carefully choose where to plant the first of those types of seeds.  If it is difficult for you to visualize this in your mind, you can draw it out on some graph paper.  You’ll also want to think ahead for what space you will need for other plants in the long-term.  Seeds that require more heat and transplants of things like tomatoes and squash will need to be thought out ahead of time.

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Use a soil thermometer.  This will allow you to gauge when soil temperatures are ready.  Every seed has a certain soil temperature that is required for optimal growth.  Relying on the air temperature alone can be deceiving and unreliable.  The air temperature may be 60 degrees, but you don’t want to plant something like summer squash if the ground is still below 40 degrees.  Check out this chart put out by the Permaculture Research Institute for more information on appropriate soil temperatures for starting seeds. https://permaculturenews.org/2017/03/09/soil-temperature-seed-germination/

Install black plastic. If you cover your garden with black plastic before planting, it will help raise the soil temperature more quickly.  This will also double as a protection against weeds.  Make sure the soil isn’t overly moist when you put the plastic in.

Try raised beds for vegetables.  Starting your early season crops in raised beds gives them a great head start.  The soil in the box is able to come up to planting temperature much more quickly.  It is important, however, to keep these plants well ventilated on sunny days.  Even cold days with a lot of sun can dry out the roots of the plants if your raised beds are well covered.

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Use mulch loosely and lightly around emerging seedlings. This will help conserve the heat over night that the soil takes in during the day.

Be patient with your garden!  Some spring seasons require that you start planting later than you would typically want.  That’s ok!  It is better to wait for the right conditions than to jump the gun and lose a bunch of seeds.  Check your soil moisture and temperatures often.  This will help give you the best idea of when is the right time to start.

Hopefully these tips and tricks have given you some insight on how to best go about planting your garden this spring!  Keep checking out our blog every week for more tips and guidelines on things related to real estate and topics dealing with the adventures of daily life!

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