Little by little, we’re finally seeing sunnier, warmer days. In fact, some of the weather over the last few weeks has been downright warm! Thankfully, this spring hasn’t been quite as cold and wet as last year, and (fingers crossed) long-range forecasts for summer indicate a nicer season ahead. If you’re a gardener, May and June are an exciting time as you decide what to plant and watch your garden take shape. Whether you grow vegetables or flowers, here are a few tips for a bountiful season ahead.
In the last few years, people of all ages have started vegetable gardening for the first time—so if you’re a beginner, welcome! If you have space to turn some of your yard into a vegetable garden, wonderful. Be sure to mix a rich nutrient blend like mushroom compost or chicken manure into your soil to promote strong growth and production all season. 
You’ll love the ease of growing with the EarthBox

If you have little to no yard—or simply want to enjoy vegetable gardening without the extra effort of weeding—try growing a small garden in containers. Now, any pot or planter will work, but if you want better results than just “any pot” can give, invest in a container gardening system like the EarthBox. Set up as an all-inclusive gardening system, the EarthBox takes the guesswork out of growing vegetables and herbs and offers better yields than other containers or equivalent ground space can. Check out the EarthBox at your Vander Giessen Nursery to learn more about how the system works and see examples planted up and growing. 

Before you get too far with gardening this season, I want to share a great trick with you that even many experienced gardeners may not know. If there’s one plant that just about everybody grows in their garden, it’s the ubiquitous tomato. They’re cheap, they grow like weeds and if we get a nice summer (again, fingers crossed!), they’ll reward your diligent care with more fresh, juicy tomatoes than you’ll know what to do with. But did you know that you can—and should—bury your tomato plants when you get them home?
That’s right—bury your tomatoes. Now, don’t just dig a hole and cover the whole thing up…that wouldn’t give you a very good crop later this summer, I’m afraid. But seriously, you can bury just about all but the top one or two sets of leaves on your tomato starts and end up with healthier, more vigorous plants. The reason is that tomatoes root from their stems when buried. Plant your tomatoes deep and you’ll end up with a root system several times stronger than what it otherwise would’ve been! 
With proper care, your Lynden Baskets can look like this!

Vegetable gardening is a very rewarding hobby, but for sheer beauty, nothing beats colorful, lush flowers outside your home. Whether you plant flowers in the ground or containers or pick out vibrant “Lynden Baskets” to decorate your front porch, they’ll reward your care with blooms all summer long. First, remember to water your flowers daily—and for hanging baskets, that means until water starts to drip out the bottom of the basket. 

Annual flowers are bred to bloom heavily through summer, but they’ll need regular feeding to do so. In the past, I’ve written about Jack’s Classic fertilizers as a far superior option to Miracle-Gro. For the showiest blooms, I alternate weekly between Jack’s All Purpose and Blossom Booster blends—what Jack’s calls their “dynamic duo.” For petunias, bacopa, calibrachoa (“Million Bells”) and other iron-hungry plants, Jack’s also makes an excellent Petunia Feed I can highly recommend for keeping those plants healthy and productive all season long. Quality really does make a difference, and if you treat your flowers right, they’ll bloom well into autumn. 
With better weather upon us, now is the time to get your adventures in flower and vegetable gardening underway for the year. Enjoy getting your fingers in the dirt, and relish the beauty and bounty your efforts bring!