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Late To The Nursery? Start Your Spring Garden With These Plants

Happy black girl in garden nursery with tools and ipad

It’s May, we can finally break out the seed starter packs and grow lights and get to planting!

More experienced gardeners have probably already started their seedlings indoors in  February in preparation for warmer weather, but if you’re a newbie at this (or you’ve procrastinated like me), don’t panic! It’s not too late to start your spring nursery in May.

Is it too late to start plants from seed?

If you're deliberating whether to start from seeds in April or go for young plants from a local nursery, that’s valid, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Ultimately, the choice of how to start your garden is yours. However, it's essential to understand that seeds typically germinate within 3-4 weeks or less in warmer regions. Additionally, consider the average growth time for each plant, starting from seeds extends the overall growth period of your plants.

If you want an earlier harvest, getting seedlings from a nursery allows you to bypass the initial germination stage and jump straight into nurturing young plants.

We have a list of black-owned seed companies you can get healthy seeds or young plants from for your garden this spring.

Check out these plants you can start in April indoors or outdoors.

1. Peppers and tomatoes

Contrary to popular belief, April is not too late to start pepper and tomato plants. With proper care and enough light, you can grow robust plants indoors or outdoors.

For guidance on growing tomatoes, check out our comprehensive tomato growing guide.

tomato plants in containers

2. Fruits

These fruits are easy to start right now:

●      Strawberries

●      Melons

Don’t know what fruit trees do well in your USDA zone? We have a guide for the best fruit trees to plant.

orange fruit tree plants in containers

3. Roots

These root vegetables thrive when sown in April or May, and they do well in containers too. It’s best to start your roots outdoors in their growing containers because they might not recover from transplant shock.

You can plant:

●      Beets

●      Carrots

●      Onions

●      Potatoes

4. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous veggies are every gardener’s cheat sheet. Start small by sowing a few seeds first, giving them 2-week intervals. Be aware of how much space they need to grow healthy, leafy greens.

These cruciferous veggies can be started indoors in USDA 3-10.

●      Cabbage

●      Kale

●      Lettuce

●      Brussel sprouts

●      Asparagus

●      Courgettes

5. Climbers and vines

They’re delicious, grow fast and add some whimsy to your garden - plant some squash or pumpkins! They thrive in the spring and can start giving you harvests by fall.

If you have the space for them to spread, their vines provide excellent soil cover for the coming heat of the summer. You can also use trellises if you have limited space.

zucchini plant in a nursery container

●      Runner beans

●      Summer squash

●      Green peas

●      Okras

●      Pumpkins

6. Herbs

Want to elevate your cooking with fresh flavors? Homegrown herbs are not only easy to plant, they are great companion plants and attract beneficial pollinators to your garden.

●      Thyme

●      Oregano

●      Chives

●      Rosemary

●      Sweet basil

herb plants in containers

7. Flowers:

Bring color (and pollinators) to your garden by companion planting with flowers.

●      Sunflowers

●      Lavender

●      Celosia

●      Verbena

flower plants in containers

Remember, the key to successful gardening lies not only in timing but also in understanding your local climate and soil conditions. Be sure to consult your USDA zone's date of final frost and adjust your planting schedule accordingly..

What’s growing in your nursery? Share your gardening adventures with the community in the comments below.


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