The best plants for spring gardens hold a special place in most gardener’s hearts, because they are the first chance we get to grow things after the long cold winter is finally over.
Whether you’re a master gardener looking for inspiration, or a brand new gardener on the journey of planning and building your first garden, you need to know about all the best plants for spring gardens.
Read on below and discover 20 of the best plants to plant, grow, and harvest, in your spring garden this year.
What Are the Best Plants for Spring Gardens?
Spring gardens are great for a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce. Basil, rosemary, and thyme are extremely popular herbs to grow in the spring, and as far as spring flowers go, tulips, snowdrops, and pansies are the best. Berries are also among the best plants for spring gardens, including blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Top 5 Best Vegetables to Grow This Spring
Growing tomatoes in the spring is a must for many home gardeners (yes, it is technically a fruit, but we are old, and hard headed, and in our heart or hearts we consider it a fruit). Tomatoes require between 6 to 8 hours of full sunlight depending on the species. They also may require stakes, poles, or some sort of support.
Growing cucumbers in the spring is another must for many gardeners. Cucumbers require around 60 day to mature fully, and then you can pick them and eat them raw, with salad, or pickle them for later. They are easily in the top 5 of all the best plants for spring gardens in many gardeners opinion.
Planting peppers in the spring, or reviving last year’s pepper plants is a no-brainer for those who want to have a plentiful output of fresh peppers all year long. Peppers enjoy a well-draining soil and around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. They make great companion plants for tomatoes.
4. Lettuce (and other Leafy Greens)
Growing lettuce is one of the most popular spring gardening activities, period. That’s because it grows quickly and easily during the spring. You can even cut a head of lettuce off an inch or so from the ground rather than picking it and it will grow back! Lettuce, and other leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard are all among the very best plants for spring gardens without a doubt.
Planting onions in the spring is another of the most common gardening practices for the early parts of the year. Depending on the species, and location you plant them, onions planted in the spring provide either green stalks to eat or turn into dried herb or full bulbs (the onions your used to buying in the grocery store).
Top 5 Best Fruits to Grow This Spring
Growing strawberries in the spring is an excellent way to get a jump start on your strawberry patch. Depending on the species, you may plant them in the spring but harvesting a season or two later. Likewise, if you have monthly bloomers, you could be picking ripe strawberries by the middle or end of spring.
If you have fruit trees, or plan to plant some new ones this spring, apricots are one of the most preferred fruit trees to plant of tend to in the spring. If it is already planted, simply water it and fertilize it (as pruning should already be done – if not, go ahead and prune it a bit as well) before it begins to grow for the year.
Growing raspberries is another of the most popular ways to get a head-start on your berry patches each year. These berry “bushes” grow back each year and often grow back thicker each time. The spring is the best time to plant, clone, or transplant raspberry bushes without question. Raspberries are absolutely among the best plants for spring gardens.
Growing blackberries, like raspberries, is an excellent spring-time gardening activity to undertake. You may clone them, transplant already existing plants, or even start new plants from seeds during the spring. Make sure to plant them somewhere they get plenty of sunlight (as with raspberries).
Another great fruit tree to tend to, plant, or revitalize in the spring is Mango. If you already have Mango trees, they should be well-trimmed and ready for the spring when it arrives. All you need to do is water it and give it some fertilizer. Light pruning is also acceptable and may even encourage quicker growth.
Top 5 Best Herbs to Grow This Spring
Growing basil in the spring is probably the most popular herb gardening spring activity there is. That’s because people just can’t get enough of the stuff. Look in almost any kitchen and you’ll more than likely find a stash of basil amount other herbs. It is easy to grow from seed, easy to clone, propagate, and harvest as well.
Planting rosemary in the spring is as common as getting basil in the ground. Rosemary is often thought of as being a “hard” plant to grow, but that’s really far from the truth. The herb is quite easy to grow from seed, or starter plants, and takes little attention if given the right environment. Given the fact that fresh rosemary is highly sought after, it ranks high among the best plants for spring gardens.
The ever-popular herb thyme is another of the most common plants to get started in the spring. Thyme is another of the herbs, like basil, that you’ll find in just about any kitchen that you take a look in. It is one of the most popular herbs for spicing up meats (specifically poultry, like turkey and chicken).
If your a sage lover, there is no better time to establish new sage plants or expand bushes than in the spring. Sage is another of the herbs that people often mistakenly think is hard to grow. The truth be told, sage is really easy to grow. In fact, if you plant it in the right spot and care for it properly it’ll multiply and turn into huge bushes.
Growing parsley in the spring is another herb-gardening activity that pays off with larger amounts of herb than if you planted later in the year. Like all of the herbs on this list, parsley is one of the most widely used herbs in the USA, and the world. You can start it from seeds or start plants during the spring and be harvesting herbs within the growing season.
Top 5 Best Flowers to Grow This Spring
Growing tulips is a popular pastime, most often initiated in the spring each year. Tulips are best planted in the spring and grow back year after year. They are one of the most popular flowers in the world. Adding a few new bulbs each spring keeps the mix even more diverse when the flowers bloom each year.
These delicate flowers are another popular choice for spring flower beds. Pansies are another of the most popular flowers in the world. They are easy to plant from seeds, or can be transplanted from start plants picked up at the local farmers market. They also look great in flower boxes.
3. Grape Hyacinth
Growing grape hyacinth in the spring is super easy, because they grow back each year with little to no effort on your part. These unique purple flowers look something like upside-down grape clusters, and look great along flower beds and lawn borders. The fact that they pop up and bloom much quicker than most flowers, even among spring-blooming species, goes a long way in making grape hyacinth one of the best plants for spring gardens.
Growing rhododendron in the spring is also an excellent choice for most yards with ornamental landscaping and flower beds. These beautiful flowers need more shade than most flowers, making them an ideal choice for yards with trees. In fact, Rhododendrons thrive when planted directly beneath trees. Plant them with ornamental and blooms trees for an even more dramatic touch.
Growing snowdrops in the spring is natures job, as you will find them all over the wilderness (maybe even in your yard) during the late winter and early spring. Plant these little babies as starter plants in February. Bulbs, however, are best planted a couple of months earlier.
Suggested Reading: 20 BEST PLANTS TO GROW THIS SUMMER