Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Seed Starting Guide Part 2-growing seeds

The Savvy Spring Seed Starting Guide Part 2


In part one of our Savvy Spring Seed Starting Guide, we looked at how to start your seeds indoors to jump-start your spring planting. Now, in part two, we're digging into the next part of your spring gardening adventure—picking the perfect seeds to sow in your garden this spring! In this installment, we'll explore our top picks for cool-season vegetables, including lettuces, spinach, greens, and radishes. We'll also share some of our favorite tips and tricks for successful direct sowing to help you make the most of your gardening efforts. If you're ready for a bountiful harvest this year, let's dive into the wonderful world of spring gardening!


Top Picks for Cool-Season Vegetables: Lettuces, Spinach, Greens, and Radishes

When it comes to planting in Iowa's late spring, cool-season vegetables steal the show. These resilient plants thrive in spring's milder temperatures, offering a bounty of fresh produce in the months to come. Not only that, but these vegetables are also packed with flavor, along with a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make them a nutritious addition to any diet. By growing your own vegetables at home organically, you'll be feeding yourself and your family the freshest, healthiest produce possible. 

Here are some top picks for your garden, courtesy of our experts at Wallace's Garden Center:

 Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-seed starting 101-lettuce in pot

Lettuces: Crisp, tender, and bursting with flavor, lettuces are a staple in any garden. Varieties like butterhead, romaine, and leaf lettuce are excellent choices for direct sowing in late spring. With proper care and attention, you'll be harvesting crunchy, delicious garden-fresh spring salads in no time!

Spinach: Packed with nutrients and versatile in the kitchen, spinach is a must-have in any Bettendorf garden. Opt for quick-growing varieties such as 'Bloomsdale' or baby spinach for a continuous harvest throughout the season. Whether tossed into salads or sautéed as a side dish, fresh-picked spinach adds a vibrant pop of green meals.

Greens: From kale to arugula, the world of leafy greens offers endless possibilities for your summer garden and kitchen! These nutrient-rich powerhouses thrive in cooler temperatures, making them ideal for late spring planting. Experiment with different varieties to find your favorites, and enjoy a steady supply of fresh greens straight from your garden.


Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Seed Starting Guide Part 2-radish seeds

Radishes: Crisp, peppery, and oh-so-satisfying, radishes are a delight to grow. Their rapid growth rate makes radishes the perfect veggie option for gardeners eager to see results. From classic red radishes to colorful ‘Easter Egg’ varieties, there's a radish for every palate. Plant them in March for a tasty harvest in late spring!


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Tips and Tricks for Successful Late Spring Direct Sowing

Now that you know what seeds to sow in late spring, let's discuss some tips and tricks to ensure your direct sowing endeavors are a resounding success:

  • Prepare Your Soil: Before planting, take the time to prepare your soil by loosening it with a garden fork and incorporating compost or organic matter for added nutrients. Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful garden, so don't skimp on this step!
  • Timing is Key: Before you rush to get your seeds in the ground, pay attention to Bettendorf's last frost date. Sowing your seeds after the threat of frost has passed will help prevent any damage from late-season cold snaps, giving your plants the best chance of thriving.
  • Spacing Matters: Follow the spacing recommendations on the seed packets to ensure your plants have enough room to grow and develop properly. Crowded plants are more susceptible to disease and pest infestations, so give them plenty of space to spread out.
  • Water Wisely: Keep your newly-sown seeds moist but not waterlogged. A gentle misting with a watering can or hose nozzle is ideal for preventing soil disturbance and ensuring your seeds have the moisture they need to germinate and grow.


Wallaces Garden Center-Bettendorf-Iowa-Seed Starting Guide Part 2-garden cloches

  • Protect Your Seedlings: Use row covers or cloches to protect your seedlings from pests and harsh weather conditions until they're fully established. This extra layer of protection can make all the difference in your plants' early stages of growth and can help ensure they get off to a strong start.

By selecting and sowing the best late spring seeds in your Quad Cities garden, you're setting yourself up for success. With just a bit of planning and care, you'll soon be enjoying a bountiful harvest of crisp lettuce, tender spinach, flavorful greens, and crunchy radishes. 

So, what are you waiting for? Start sowing today and reap the rewards of your hard work and dedication, and don't forget to stop by Wallace's Garden Center for all your seeds and seed-starting supplies now!

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