5 Ways To Get Your Zone 5b Garden Ready For The Growing Season

5 Ways To Get Your Zone 5b Garden Ready For The Growing Season

Someone said to me this week, "Now that's a primaveral breeze." I had no idea what "primaveral" meant. I nodded, smiled, and said, "It sure is... :)" As soon as I got back to my car, I googled it.

"Do you know this word? It's a word for the beginning of spring, right on the cusp of winter turning to spring. Primaveral literally means the very beginning of spring. We're in it!" 

I feel like a whole new world of seasonal appreciation has opened up to me. I mean, sure, we could just say "springtime," but what’s the fun in that? ;-) 

This is the perfect time to shed the layers of winter and embrace the transition to the season ahead. It’s hard wired within us. Like sunflowers turning their faces towards the sun, we too feel an irresistible pull towards the great outdoors as the days grow longer and the warmth of spring rejuvenates us. It’s time to emerge from hibernation! Mother Nature is slowly waking our natural world up. 

So let's celebrate this primaveral transition shall we?....Put on your coat and enjoy your morning coffee outside, open your windows and let the fresh air in, and if you’re a gardener, now is the time to start puttering in your garden. While it’s still too early to plant most things, there are still plenty of things you can do to get your garden off to a great start. 

Here are 5 things you can do in Zone 5 in April to get your garden off to a great start.

While the weather is still quite chilly,, once we get a taste of a few nice days, spring fever sets in and we get that itch to be in the garden. 

We get so excited about nice weather that we forget the -10 night we had just a few days ago. We need to keep in mind that while the ambient temperature might be warming up, the soil temperature will still be cold, if not still somewhat frozen. Think of the soil like a lake; just because the air temperature is warm doesn't mean the water is, and it takes time for the lake to warm up.

With that in mind, here are some things you can do in your garden in Zone 5 in April:

1. Start planting cool-season crops - While it might still be too cold to plant all the vegetables, you can start planting cool-season crops like lettuce and peas. These vegetables thrive when it’s cool and can tolerate frosts, making them perfect for planting early in the season when the temperature still fluctuates a lot. Let’s not forget we sometimes get snow in April. 

2. Begin preparing the soil - It's never too early to start preparing your soil. Clear away any debris, weeds, remove old plants from last year and work in some compost or other organic matter to enrich the soil.

3. Start seedlings indoors - If you're eager to get a jumpstart on the growing season, you can start seeds indoors. Think cucumbers and tomatoes for vegetables, basil and mint for herbs and cosmos and zinnias for flowers. These are all easy to start from seed.

4. Add mulch - Adding a layer of mulch can prevent weeds from growing.

5. Gardening in April requires patience and not rush planting warm-season crops until the soil has had time to warm up fully. Take this time to dream and plan out your garden. Bask in the miracle of the transformation of a seed to you growing delicious food and beautiful flowers.

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