The Northeast is a region known for its four contrasting seasons. From dreamlike springtime conditions, the dog days of summer, radiant fall foliage, and blustery winters, northerners relish all Mother Nature has to offer.
The seasonal changes can be both rewarding and challenging for gardeners. However, there are various flora and advice best suited for each condition. Use the below recommendations to keep your garden in tip-top shape, regardless of the season.
Spring is always welcomed with open arms! These few months are all about preparation—garden beds and indoor seedlings. For garden beds, turn over winter cover crops and add compost to establish the perfect foundation to sprout new life.
In the first week of April, start planting the seeds of warm-season veggies, such as tomatoes. For a future pop of color, zinnias can also be started inside. Contact your local home and garden store for a complete list of seeds that can be started inside. When planting inside, all that is needed is potting soil, small containers, and lots of light—either artificial or natural. All seeds will be ready to transport outside by the end of May.
Time to take it outdoors and finish what has already been started. Before transporting, seedlings need a period of “hardening off,” which means gradually introducing them to the outdoors to avoid shock changes from weather. Once adapted, continue to plant annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees.
Be sure to keep up with the mandatory maintenance work. Tasks like weeding dandelions, providing proper nourishment, and thinning to make room for additional growth are all essential in maintaining a healthy and abundant garden.
With the first frost typically arriving around mid-September, it’s time to bring the harvest back inside and enjoy your so-called fruits of labor! Pick warm-weather veggies, such as squash, to use in seasonal dishes like our Fall Harvest Butternut and Apple Pizza.
Autumn leaves are both easy on the eyes and serve a purpose in the garden. Leaf mold is a cheap source of organic matter for soil. Gather leaves and stockpile them in storage containers for future usage.
With colder temperatures comes the official end of the growing season. Ensure that necessary precautions are taken before the ground freezes. Move bulbs indoors, and mulch perennial beds to prevent frost heaves from damaging roots. Hunker down and enjoy the next few months—spring will be here before you know it!
Keep your eyes out for the next post in the Seasonal Gardening Tip series—next we’ll be covering the southern region! Visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/move.