It’s the beginning of Spring here in Williamstown! As the snow becomes less frequent, now is a great time to begin thinking about preparing your garden for the upcoming growing season. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin gardening this Spring.
- Look into the frost tolerance of your crops
- Early Spring is a good time to decide what plants you want to grow this summer. Keep in mind that you might be able to begin some plants earlier than others. While Spring gardening is often limited by the frost, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage) and root vegetables (carrots, scallions) are more frost tolerant.
- Refer to the spring planting calendar.
- Start seedlings indoors
- Most Spring plants can be started as seedlings indoors around 6 weeks before the last frost. This makes your plants more resilient when planted in the Spring, and can result in a higher yield. In Williamstown, the last frost is around mid-May. Six weeks before that is the beginning of April — so you can start gardening soon!
- To do so at home, you can use an old cardboard (or “not plastic”) egg container. Fill the holes with soil and plant two seeds in each. Leave in a window sill and water regularly. As the seedlings progress, you will thin out the plants in case both plants sprouted.
- Maintenance – After a long winter, it would probably be best to begin prepping your planting area before the growing season officially begins. Here are some good ways to do so:
- Clear out weeds, mulch, debris. Completing a spring cleaning allows you to get back down to the bare base before you begin planting.
- Prune! Prune! Prune!—Pruning your trees and shrubs is an important task because it removes dead and dying branches and stubs, allowing room for new growth and protecting your property and passerby from damage.
- Check your shed – Cleaning isn’t only concentrated on the garden. Make sure your garden shed is also organized and ready to be utilized. Before beginning a new growing season, you want to get your garden shed or tools in order. Sharpen tools, make sure you have enough supplies. If not, replenish them, and think about pre-assembling any structures you need for your garden.
Best of luck in your gardening pursuits this year!
-Theo Detweiler and Nasir Grissom, ZC Garden Interns
Theo Detweiler is a Sophomore from Los Angeles, California. He has been a Gardens and Landscapes Intern for the Zilkha Center for the past two years. He is a History major but has enjoyed all his Environmental Studies classes as well. His favorite plant from home is the poppy but his favorite plant in Williamstown is the paper birch.
Nasir Grissom is a Junior from Los Angeles, California. He is a History major who is concentrating in Public Health. This year, he is working as a Garden and Landscapes Intern with the Zilkha Center, and has also worked on food justice projects in Los Angeles and Mississippi.