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Spring is finally here! In Chicagoland, we wait out the colder months, planning our activities for warmer days. At Heritage Prairie Farm, we’ve been prepping our fields and greenhouses for the spring growing season and our awesome team of farmers shared some of their tips.

1. When should you start prepping beds for spring planting?
“Gardeners can begin prepping beds once there are clear, dry, days in the forecast, and once the threat of frost has passed and the soil is workable.”

Plant Sale Seeding

Farmer Shawna preps the beds for the 2019 Plant Sale at Heritage Prairie Farm

2. Best plants for spring?
“We love the long-awaited spring flower blooms like tulips and daffodils…Some of the best things to plant in the spring are your favorite lettuce varieties to get those final salads before the heat of summer turns them bitter!”

 

Lettuce head

Organic lettuce grown at Heritage Prairie Farm

 

3. What advice do you have for seeding, watering, and caring for beds in spring?
“A garden fork is a fantastic tool for loosening soil in the spring before planting transplants or seeds in the home garden. Once debris has also been cleared, a rake will help even the surface of the bed.”

“Once the danger of frost has passed, carrots and radishes are some of our favorite crops to plant by seed. Crops, like spinach, kale, and lettuce love cool spring weather and can purchased for transplanting; hold off on buying your tomatoes and peppers until around Mother’s Day when the soil should be consistently warm enough for your summer transplants.”

organic kale

Organic kale transplants growing for the 2019 Organic Plant Sale

Organic Lettuce Heads

Organic lettuce beginning to grow at Heritage Prairie Farm

4. Tips for spring transplants?
“Keep the roots as intact as possible by gently squeezing the sides of the pot and wiggling the plant loose.”

organic transplants

Organic transplants come ready to plant!

“Give the new transplants a good watering after planting, but don’t flatten them with high water pressure! If nighttime temperatures reach low 30s, a milk jug with the narrow top cut off can serve as a DIY mini-greenhouse to protect new transplants at night!”

organic sage

Organic sage will be available at the 2019 Heritage Prairie Farm Plant Sale

5. Lastly, what are some quick tips on caring for your transplants?
“Living in the Midwest you for sure want to grow more cold-hardy plants first. Our Spinach survived -40 degree weather we had over winter!! Hardening off your plants will help them adjust from being spoiled in the greenhouse to dealing with mother nature once they’re in the ground.”

rows of lettuce

Rows of lettuce growing in the greenhouse

“To harden off plants, place them outside during the day or in a spot where they will get sunlight and during the night a colder place that’s covered from the elements outside. Watering of course is key. To make sure your plants are not drying out, stick your finger into the pot and see how the dirt is doing closer to the roots.”

2019 Organic Plant sale

Transplants are ready for the Organic Plant Sale at Heritage Prairie Farm

If you’re looking for organic, locally-grown transplants for your spring garden, visit Heritage Prairie Farm for our Spring Plant Sale! April 13 from 9 am to 2 pm at 2N308 Brundige Rd., Elburn, IL.
Be sure to download our Spring Transplant Guide for a list of available plants, and check out this page for more information.

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