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Spring into Action!

Posted by VIBE Realty on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023 at 11:28am.


Spring finally, finally seems to be here in the Twin Cities and we couldn’t be happier! In honor of the warm weather, we sat down with Katie Novotny, Ramsey County Master Gardener Intern (and sister to our own Liz Novotny) to talk about gardening. New homeowners, novice gardeners and those with the desire to green-ify their thumbs: read on for Katie’s best tips, tricks and resources so your flower or veggie garden will flourish this summer!

Question: When is the ideal time to plant your garden?

Answer: The best time to plant your garden depends on where you live, your planting zone, and what you are planting. You can find out what your zone is at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Here in the Twin Cities cool season crops like peas, lettuce, broccoli and brussel sprouts can be planted as soon as the ground is workable. For tender annuals like vegetables and flowers, wait until after the last frost. Warm season plants like tomatoes and pepper should be transplanted mid to late May. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center has a great map to help you find the last frost date in your area. The U of M Extension has excellent information on when it's safe to plant specific vegetables on their vegetable gardening page. 

Question: For someone new to vegetable gardening, what are a few plants you would recommend? 

Answer: Great plants to start with in a vegetable garden are beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and swiss chard. 

Question: What should someone look for when deciding where on their property to start a garden?

Answer: When deciding where to start a garden you want to pay attention to the amount of sun the area receives. Will buildings or other trees shade it during the day? Most vegetables need 8-10 hours of sun a day for best production, but 6 hours at minimum. 

Question: If someone is hoping for a flower garden that looks good all spring and summer, what are a few varieties you would suggest?

Answer: For a flower garden that blooms all summer long, you want to select plants that bloom at different times. You can find this information on the seed packet or the tag. Some great spring flowers are bloodroot, bleeding hearts, tulips and crocuses. For midsummer: zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, rudbeckias, and purple coneflower are beautiful. For late summer some good choices are goldenrod, asters, bee balm, and dogbane.  

Question: How should you prepare the soil for a garden? 

Answer: If you are unsure what soil type you have, the best way is to start is with a soil test. This will tell you what type of soil you have and if it's necessary to add amendments and what type. A loose, well-drained soil works best. 

Question: What are 3-4 basic tools you might need to get started?

Answer: There are some basic tools that are very helpful in the garden: a trowel, spade, pitchfork, rake, and pruning shears. 

Gardening can be fun and it is also an important factor to consider when it comes to real estate. A well-maintained garden can significantly enhance the value of a property, especially if it's in a desirable location. A home with an attractive outdoor space can be more appealing to potential buyers and can set it apart from other properties in the area. So, if you're looking to sell your property or increase its value, investing time and effort into your garden can be a wise decision. Even small improvements such as adding colorful plants or fixing up a worn-out lawn can make a big difference in attracting potential buyers.

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