Planting season starts in early spring for most of the United States. Depending upon the specific flowers, plants, fruits or vegetables you plan to grow, you may even be able to get started with planting season chores in late winter. Knowing the procedures for planting season will help you to know when you can get started in your area.
Plants and Seeds
The first step before planting new gardens each season is to select the types of plants you intend to grow. Knowing the types of plants or seeds that will be planted allows you to know growing requirements, such as how much sunlight and water will be needed, plus what type of soil the plants will grow best in.
Once you know what plants you'll be growing, you now need to select an appropriate planting site for them. If you intend to grow shade-loving plants, like Hosta for example, you'll select a planting site that gets filtered sunlight or full shade most of the day. If you're planning to plant a bed of strawberries, however, these need five to six hours of direct sunlight each day, so your planting site needs to be located in a sunny area.
If the planting site you've selected has not been used for gardening before, you should test the soil pH levels before making any amendments. Do-it-yourself test kits can be bought from local garden centers and nurseries, and testing the soil is important for certain types of plants such as roses.
Prepare your soil by adding materials to adjust the pH balance if needed, and add plenty of rich organic material or finished compost to poor soils to improve the overall condition. Preparing the soil with organic material or compost will make your plants grow healthier and help prevent common pests and diseases.
When the last frost has passed for your growing zone, you can start planting your plants and seeds into the ground. Plant seeds directly into the garden bed according to the instructions on the package. Space seedlings and starter plants at recommended distances even if they look sparse and small in the beginning. As the plants take hold and start flourishing, they'll fill in the spaces and gaps automatically.
Freshly planted garden beds need to be moist. When planting seeds, the soil should be moist to at least 1 inch below the surface, and when planting seedlings, be sure the soil is moist as far down as the roots are placed.
Water or irrigate the newly planted garden bed as needed to keep it moist for the first two weeks. Once your new plants are fully established, water according to the specific needs of the plants you have growing.