Early spring is the time of the growing season when gardeners with itchy fingers get their hands dirty in the first cold, moist soil of the season. While not every garden plant or seed can be started in the chill of spring's infancy, some will appreciate a head start.
Spring is the ideal time to plant summer blooming bulbs. These bulbs will enjoy a bed of cool soil in preparation for gorgeous, hot weather display later in the season. Lilies, gladiolus, cannas, elephant ears, and dahlias are all flowering favorites among spring- planted bulbs.
Annuals that will re-seed if left over winter have the best chance of growing early in the season. In order to achieve this effect, allow the plant to drop seeds or pods before cleaning up spent foliage and blooms in the fall. Varieties that may produce earlier starts in the spring garden include snapdragon, sweet alyssum, henbit and chickweed. Annuals starts that may withstand some spring frost include cornflower, lobelia, morning glory and pansies.
Perennials are the anchor for an early spring garden, those trustworthy friends that return year after year without fail. Little green buds signaling what may seem an impossibly early start to the gardening season will often be perennial flowers. The lenton rose, candytuft, moss phlox and Virginia bluebells are all among the early spring, ever-faithful flowers.
If you had the foresight to plant vegetables in the early fall, you will see these tasty, vitamin-filled plants beginning to bud with promise of edible fruit earlier in the summer than other veggies. Among the super cold-hardy vegetables are asparagus, broccoli, turnips, Brussel sprouts and peas.
Not all seeds appreciate being sown directly into frigid, early spring soil. Some, however, will reward you with the first ready blooms for cut flowers while others are just germinating. Annual phlox, blanket flower, cosmos, lobelia, globe amaranth, marigold, pinks, strawflower and sweet pea seeds can tolerate a chill but not heavy frost.