How to Plant Seeds for Spring


Spring is a time of renewal and hope for many people. The brightly colored flowers that begin blooming at this time of year can lift one's spirits and decorate a garden with their beauty. You can start vegetables that ripen later in summer by planting their seeds indoors in early spring. Get a head start on the season by planning and starting wildflower seeds in fall. By the time spring arrives, you'll be able to enjoy the easy to care for flowers that bloom when the weather gets warmer.

Step 1

Begin your preparations in fall for many types of plants. Clear the weeds and other unwanted plants from an area of your yard that receives the correct amount of sun for the plant you are planning to grow and then dig in a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic compost. You can broadcast wildflower seeds in your completed garden bed immediately or allow the area to mellow until spring, when you can plant your summer vegetables.

Step 2

Start flower and vegetable seeds in late winter or early spring, about six or eight weeks before your final spring frost. Fill flats or pots with any standard potting soil mix and then sprinkle it with water to moisten the soil. Plant seeds the correct depth and distance apart, following seed packet instructions. Keep your pots or flats in a sunny indoor location.

Step 3

Thin young plants to about 2 inches apart when they are 1 to 2 inches tall.

Step 4

Transplant seedlings to your outdoor garden bed after your final spring frost. Plant them the correct distance apart for the type of plant. For example, plant tomatoes 3 to 4 feet apart; plant zinnias 1 foot apart.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be sure to protect young plants from snails, slugs and other destructive garden creatures. A natural substance called diatomaceous earth is helpful for keeping snails, slugs and other crawling insects away from the area where you apply it.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Flats or pots
  • Potting soil
  • Sunny indoor space


  • Pennsylvania State University: Consumer Horticulture
  • Flower Gardening Made Easy: Flower Gardening From the Ground Up
  • The Garden Helper: Vegetable Gardening Basics

Who Can Help

  • Weekend Gardener: Horticulture for Busy People
Keywords: seed starting, flowers vegetables, gardening annuals

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.