Spring’s Dirty Dozen: 12 Best Planting Tips

Get ready to garden! Mark Cullen gives us some of his best spring planting tips from his book The Canadian Primer: An Organic Approach.

garden-1Planting tips:

– Bare root plants (i.e., roses, shrubs, and trees) should be planted in early spring while they are still dormant.

– Trees with fleshy roots — magnolia, dogwood, tulip tree, sweet gum, red maple, birch, hawthorn, poplar, cherry, plum, crab apple and many oaks — are best saved for spring planting.



Seed planting tips:

– When sowing seeds, always make sure that the soil is well-prepared and as weed-free as possible.

– Mark out beds and rows before beginning.

– If you are trying to evenly distribute tiny seeds, such as carrots, along a furrow, Cullen’s method is to mix them with dry sand and then sow them.

– Cover the seeds with a thin layer of vermiculite, worm castings or sand after planting; it marks the rows and also helps to prevent the soil from crusting over after a rainfall or during a dry spell.

– Water the beds lightly with a fine spray so as not to disturb freshly planted seeds, but keep the soil moist to hasten germination and prevent the seeds from dehydrating


garden-3Bulb planting tips:
– Plant your bulb three times as deep as the bulb is thick, measured from top to bottom (always plant the bulb with the pointy side up).

– If your soil is clay-based, plant more shallowly than normal to help prevent the bulbs from rotting.

– If your soil is heavy, dig in generous quantities of sharp sand to improve drainage; the deeper the bulb is planted, the more critical it is to have good drainage.

– If you are planting bulbs individually, space them twice the diameter of the bulbs apart to avoid overcrowding.

– Plant larger bulbs on the bottom and smaller bulbs on top. This will allow you to maximize on a small space. If you choose bulbs that bloom at different times, the successive bloom will cover spent foliage of earlier flowers.

Visit markcullen.com – 10,000 gardening questions. Answered. President, Mark’s Choice Ltd. – Horticultural Communications and Marketing. Mark is Spokesperson and Horticultural consultant to Home Hardware Canada Spokesperson for Golf Green organic based fertilizers and lawn seed and Green Earth Garden Products. Mark is the volunteer spokesperson for SHARE Agricultural Foundation, Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival and theComposting Council of Canada