City Cast

Urban Almanac: Garden Planning

Frankie Barnhill
Frankie Barnhill
Posted on April 6   |   Updated on June 28
A raised garden bed filled with plants. Mulch lines the ground.

Spring weather is finally here, so hello plants! (Kris Wong / Getty)

Everyone I know is itching to grab the first asparagus, carrots, and strawberries they can get their hands on at the farmers market. If coming out of winter hibernation have you wanting to try gardening yourself, here’s how to get started.

City Cast Boise has a few primers this season, all of which can impact your gardening plans:

To start off, there are a lot of options: raised beds give easier access to plants and control over their environment. But should you be planting seeds exclusively, or using starts? What should you be planting, and when? Some of these questions can only be answered through experience, but here’s how to avoid some easy mistakes.

Here’s a really handy chart for when plants like to be planted. Because of how cold it’s been lately, go with the later dates on the date ranges.

A color-coded map of the U.S. dividing it by planting zones.

Boise's in garden zone 6b or 7a, which will help give you a guide for planning and timing. (Urban Farmer Seeds)

  1. Don’t go overkill. It’s still cold, and just too early for a lot of plants to thrive, especially if you’re planting outside. You can be planting carrots, peas, onions, and potatoes outside right now, though.
  2. Start some seeds indoors. Planting indoors in a controlled environment and then transplanting them outdoors will give some crops a head start. Those include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. Note: root crops (beets, radishes, etc.) always prefer direct-sowing (being planted directly in the ground).
  3. Like all plants, be wary of overwatering. Rather than guessing or sticking to a timeframe, check the soil’s moisture level, and then learn about individual plants.

For folks who don’t have a garden, space for one, or otherwise want to spend time in one, what are some community gardens Boiseans can get involved with?

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