Planting a Healthy Spring Garden

If you want to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and would like to develop your green thumb in the process, take advantage of Southern California’s year-round gardening climate. April is the perfect month to plant many of your favorite fruits and vegetables in your spring garden, so you can get started right away. Read on to learn what you can plant right in your own backyard!

Use raised beds or containers

For optimal growing conditions for all those delicious fruits and veggies, plant seeds for your spring garden in raised beds. They don’t just look great, but they keep pests and weeds from infiltrating your garden soil, and they offer better drainage and more space for growing. It’s also much less effort than the (often futile) attempt at making dry, Southern California soil hospitable to plants that require lots of moisture and nutrients.

Grow your own salad

Packaged, store-bought lettuce just can’t compare with lettuce grown in your own backyard. Butter, romaine, iceberg, and loose leaf lettuces are easy to grow, and you’ll get quick gratification for the effort—lettuce seeds typically sprout in about two to eight days. Just loosen the soil where you’re planting the seeds, mix with compost, and sow seeds less than half an inch deep.

Spring is also a good time to plant some of your favorite fruits and veggies to toss with a salad. Think tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, and broccoli. Many of these will be ready for harvest in just a couple of months.

Plant a citrus tree

April is citrus season in Southern California, making it the perfect time to pot a lemon, lime, or clementine tree. You can grow your tree from seed, but if you want to enjoy your citrus sooner, you can buy and plant a small developed tree. Potted citrus need to be watered and fertilized frequently (every couple of weeks or so). In just a few years, you’ll have so many lemons you’ll be giving them away.

Start an herb garden

Take your flavors in the kitchen up a notch with fresh, home-grown herbs. While the dry, store-bought stuff is great in a pinch, fresh herbs are really what make your dishes sing. Basil, sage, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, and thyme are easy to grow even if you’re limited on space. Pots and vertical gardens are good options for the herbs in your spring garden, as long as the plants have a little sunlight and some well-drained soil. Most herbs also grow quickly, meaning you can snip off a few leaves of whatever you need every night.

Grow some other favorites

Now is also a good time to plant your favorites like beans, peas, squash, zucchini, radishes, onions, beets, and peppers. Talk to your local nursery professionals for advice on optimal planting and sowing conditions.

Have questions about which fruits and veggies your diet could use more of? Ask your Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups specialist today.

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