Toolshed Tips: Celebrate Spring!

Celebrate Spring!

By Libby Weiland, Statewide Network Coordinator

Dear Gardeners: There’s no doubt that despite the piles of snow you have green and growing on your mind! Here in Vermont, the days of planting our gardens are nearly in sight, but still a month (or months) away. What can you do now to celebrate Spring and get your hands into the season?

  • Grow and eat spring sprouts! Microgreens come up quickly–bringing bright green to your home within days. And you can enjoy tasting something freshly harvested when it’s too cold to grow outside! Growing Indoors: Microgreens typically take about 2-3 weeks to grow to a good size for harvest. Make sure you have about 4 hours daily of direct sunlight, or place a fluorescent bulb placed about 4 inches above the plants. Sow seeds every few days to a week for a continuous harvest. Herbs can take longer to grow, but some of the easier varieties to grow from seeds, like basil, chives, and cilantro, can also be enjoyed when young and tender. Click here for more tips on starting your own microgreens.
  • Start vegetable and herb seedlings indoors. Save on vegetable starts and enjoy tending to plants indoors until they’re ready to be planted outside. Here’s an excellent article from Gardener’s Supply on starting seeds indoors. Key tips to remember: If this is your first time, start with plants that are easy to grow as seedlings, such as tomatoes, basil, and marigolds; If you don’t have a south-facing window with lots of light, it pays to use grow lights so your seedlings don’t get “leggy.” Also, click here for more tips on what and when to plant.
  • Invite friends over for some garden gossip. Heat up garden vegetable soup from the freezer, clip some microgreens for fresh flavor, peruse seed catalogues, dream and gush about the season to come. If young ones (or young at heart) are in attendance set aside last year’s catalogues to be cut and glued into a colorful garden collage!
  • Organize a community Seed Swap. Late winter through early spring is an ideal time to swap and share seeds with fellow gardeners. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a “Seed Swap” is an opportunity for gardeners to meet and exchange their extra seeds (harvested or from packets) from *past seasons. Often featured are varieties that grow well in your area, personal favorites, heirlooms, and culturally significant crops. In some communities, seed swaps are annual events celebrating gardening, food, cultural heritage, and crop diversity. Consider including workshops about seeds: starting seeds indoors, seed saving, etc. This can be a great way to re-energize local gardeners and gardeners-to-be for the season to come! For more info and links on how to start your own Seed Swap see this past January Toolshed Tip.

*Not sure if your seeds are still viable? Use this chart as your guide, keeping in mind that your germination rate will decrease over time. Plant more than one seed to play it safe!

Skip to content