How to Recover from a Late Start to Spring Gardening

Help! It’s the middle of May and I haven’t started my garden yet!

If this is you, trust me it could be worse. You could own a gardening business and be several months behind schedule like me.

I’ve had some health challenges that have hindered my work on Hortiki Plants (hindered my work at my day job, my housework, and more). Fortunately, I am blessed to say I am recovering well and eager to get back to business (literally). I am letting go of past plans, how off my timing is, and wishing I were more ahead.

I encourage you to do the same. If you are right on track for this season, congratulations! Jump to the comments and let us know what you planted and how things are shaping up.

If though, you are not quite where you would like to be, this post is for you!

Use these 5 quick tips to recover from a late start and still maintain a flourishing garden all summer long.

1. Relax, climate change is real. Temps are getting higher and lasting longer. The length of the growing season has increased in almost every state in the US. The final spring frost is occurring earlier, and the first fall frost is arriving later.* Most of the U.S. won’t experience a frost until October and for warmer areas it may be even later. So most of us still have a full 160 days, 43% of the year to garden our hearts out!

2. It's not too late to start from seed. There are many benefits to starting your own plants from seeds and it’s not too late.

  • Grow plants that are free from disease. By starting from seed you don’t risk bringing disease into your garden that may be in the plant matter or in the soil of transplants.

  • Save money. Seeds are less expensive than live plants.

  • Choice/Variety. You can plant exactly what you want and are not limited to the varieties available at your local big box retailer. You can try out unique or heirloom varieties that often have better flavor profiles than the varieties available in-store.

  • Create a continuous supply of produce all season long by planting seeds every few weeks. Starting from seed gives you the flexibility to time your garden to produce what you want when you want it.

  • It’s easy! It takes a little time but starting plants from seed is super simple. Most seeds just need a little water and warm conditions to germinate.

3. Start with a quick win to get motivated. Warmer weather probably has you eager to get active and eat healthy. Start simple with a quick win like microgreens. These easy sprouts are rich in antioxidants. They're great in green smoothies, spring salads and wraps, toasts, grilled dishes and more. You can harvest microgreens in a little as 7-days. Eating fresh from your windowsill will inspire you to keep growing. Check out the Hortiki Plant's Microgreens Kit in the shop.

4. Go big or go home --- not quite right when it comes to plants. If you are behind schedule this year, take time to understand why. If it’s that you’re so busy you haven’t had time, will you have the time it takes to maintain a mega-garden this summer? Realistic goals for your garden will prevent future feelings of disappointment. Are you traveling a lot this summer? Do you get home too late to spend time on your garden? Know what your limits are and plan your garden accordingly. There is a garden style to fit every lifestyle and you have the freedom to create the one that’s perfect for you. If you have minimal time, consider self-watering containers, or automatic irrigation systems. If you will be away from home a lot, consider root vegetables that grow with little maintenance. Need other ideas? Let me know what your gardening challenges are in the comments below.

5. Let go of feeling overwhelmed by getting organized. You’ve heard the advice to never walk into a grocery store hungry? I advise the same for gardening centers. Before you jump into a car and head over to a garden center take a little time to make a plan. This will help you stay on track, not get overwhelmed when confronted by so much choice, and stay on budget. Check out the Simplify Your Garden Prep series for free worksheets to get organized.

That's it for this week. I hope you are encouraged. Although Hortiki hates tardiness, I've been assured all is forgiven, so let's make a deal! I promise to move forward with my business dreams; you promise to move forward with your gardening dreams. Deal?!

If you're in, share your gardening plans for this summer in the comments below!

P.S. I am excited to be back to posting regularly. Check back soon for a science focused post with news that may surprise you. Subscribe to the newsletter for all the latest info plus special deals only for subscribers!