A Beautiful, Edible Spring Garden

The spring garden can be a wonderful place: birds singing, flowers blooming, tiny leaves bursting from formerly dormant branches and pushing up through the snow.

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In many areas, spring can also be a time of torrential downpours, of flooding, of severe weather and drastic temperature shifts, of early heat waves followed by late freezes.

Spring gardens can look great, or they can look awful. It really depends on how you've planned your garden and the attention you give it during this time.

Here are some tips for a consistently beautiful edible spring garden:

Have a strong garden design

Later in spring, when everything is blooming, your design might seem irrelevant. I mean, flowers!

But early in spring, when all you see are bare twigs and hardscape (if you even have any), it can look pretty bleak without a good design.

Plant winter crops and edible perennials

If you have (for example) kale and cabbages and lavender in your yard, plants which look good all year long, then the bare spots aren't as noticeable, especially if you have these sorts of plants as a major part of your design.

If you can find deciduous perennial edibles with interesting shapes or nicely colored winter branches which grow in your area, this can add interest in early spring, before your plants start to leaf out.

Plant early (with a caveat)

Many early spring greens such as lettuce and spinach can be sown either in late fall or even late winter. You have the seeds in the freezer already, so what's the difference if they freeze there or in your yard?

When it thaws, your seeds will wake up and begin their jobs, and in spring, you'll have your salad harvest a lot earlier.

But you have to know your plants. It makes no sense to plant something like tomatoes (which are frost-tender) before your last average frost date.

Do your garden maintenance

Pruning, hardscape repairs, clearing out dead plants and checking the supports on your living ones can do a lot to make your spring garden look its best.

Check your edgings and perennials for heaving if your area freezes and re-seat them, sweep your walkways, and put up your spring holiday garden decor!

Later in spring, be watchful for weeds. Keeping up with them now will save you untold work in summer, and can prevent your seedlings from being choked out.

Do you have an edible spring garden?
Join our contest!

Here's how it works:

Each month, you may enter your home edible garden in our monthly contest.




At the end of each season, all the gardens which are shared during the spring are eligible for prizes:

  • a special badge to put on your website or blog,
  • a physical prize which will be shipped to you (TBA), and
  • a $5.00 USD gift certificate to the online garden store of you choosing!

Entries are given points for:

  • Hardscape (walls, paths, walkways, etc)
  • Overall design
  • Whether the garden complements this house
  • Use of edible trees and shrubs
  • Use of edible perennials
  • Use of edible annuals
  • Curb appeal (Is the garden attractive?)
  • Photo quality (How good are the photos?)
  • How many edible garden photos you shared during the spring

Our 2015 Northern Hemisphere Best Spring Garden is from

Lynn Sterner, Los Osos, CA (US)

Lynn wins a pair of garden gloves from Gardener's Supply, a $5.00 USD gift certificate to the online garden store of her choice, and a badge to put on her website.

Congratulations, Lynn!

The Southern Hemisphere Spring Contest began September 1st!

Want to talk more about your garden with a friendly group of people who love edible gardens as much as you do? Join the Tasteful Landscape community:

What would you like to read about next? Here are some related pages:

Protecting plants from frost - Annual plants - Choosing perennials

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