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Top 10 Rules for Spring Gardening

Help ensure your garden's success by heeding these do's and don'ts.

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Photo: Shutterstock/stockcreations

Work the Soil When it's Dry

Work the soil only when it's moderately dry. Tilling, walking on, or cultivating the soil when it's wet leads to creating something akin to adobe: the whole structure of the soil is destroyed.

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Photo: Shutterstock/photowind

Provide Drainage

If your soil is too wet to work, use raised beds to enable earlier planting in the spring. The soil in raised beds dries out and warms up faster than the surrounding earth.

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Check Your Seed Packet

Plant cool-season plants such as peas, onions, Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce in early spring so they mature before hot weather arrives. Delay planting warm-weather crops until you're safely past the last spring frost and the soil has warmed sufficiently.

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Photo: Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture ©

Know Your Zone

Whether you use USDA or Sunset zones, choose your plants not only for cold-hardiness but for heat-tolerance as well. For example, peonies don't bloom where winters are mild.

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