Seasons Magazines

Seasons Magazines

Embracing the Journey Into a New England Spring

By Kerri-Lee Mayland


It is such a relief every year! As much as I love winter for all the outdoor sports and cozy snow days at home, I’m always ready to bid farewell to its icy grip when St. Patrick’s Day or Easter nears. The mud months mean it’s time to prep for the growing season. When I walk around my yard as the temperatures rise to assess any damage left behind, I can’t help but get excited seeing the first signs of life. The drab colorless landscape will soon give way to a multitude of blossoms and blooms; that is something to celebrate! We will be doing exactly that, and showing you some of our favorite things about a Connecticut spring on the next At Home With Kerri-Lee coming soon!


But that being said, we live in New England, so we are well-acquainted with unpredictable weather. Mother Nature teases us with false starts, twists and turns before the last frost has safely passed. Maybe you too have been burned by planting before Mother’s Day, only to have a ferocious late frost obliterate your eager intentions. Guilty as charged over here; it’s an expensive lesson to learn the hard way.


So, let’s practice a little patience, and look at some ways to get your green thumbs geared up while you wait for the good weather to arrive and truly be here to stay.


Start Sowing Indoors

The sun may be teasing us with its warmth, but the soil may still be too cold for some plants. So, start seeds indoors in containers. A friend of mine does “winter sowing” and uses recycled milk jugs like little greenhouses to plant her flowers; the little seedlings are good to go when the ground is ready. It’s a great way for your plants to develop strong root systems and hit the ground running.


Watch the Frost Dates

This is the “don’t plant before Mother’s Day” deal again. New England is notorious for late frosts that sneak up when you least expect them. If you are rolling the dice and taking your chances, be prepared to protect tender plants with row covers or blankets. This might help safeguard your hard work from pesky cold snaps.


Choose Hardy Varieties

Pick plants that are well-suited to our climate. It sounds obvious, but it’s a common mistake. Opt for hardy varieties that can withstand fickle weather. Cold-tolerant vegetables like kale, spinach and peas are my favorites for early spring planting, and they make for delicious crops later in the season.


Prepare the Soil

Before breaking ground in your garden beds, assess and nourish the soil. Our soils can be heavy and compacted—mine is dense clay—so incorporate organic elements to improve drainage and fertility.


(Pro tip: Start saving eggshells and use a banana under plants like tomatoes and peppers and many flower-producing plants. The calcium and potassium will do wonders when it comes to the plants’ performance.)


Consider Container Gardening

For those of us who can’t wait to get our hands dirty, this kind of gardening is a great solution! Planting in containers allows you to move your garden indoors if a late frost is in the forecast, while also providing flexibility in rearranging your garden as the season progresses.


Train Tropicals

Buy palms and get them thriving indoors, so they are healthy and strong and ready to go outside for a tropical vibe once it’s warm enough. My palm will be poolside at my house very soon. We often think of them as tropical greenery that will only grow in the Deep South, but plant them in a container that can be moved inside and out. Once the weather is nice, they will love the sun and fresh air.


Mulch Mindfully

Mulching is not just decorative; it helps to regulate soil temperature and conserve moisture, as well as natural weed control. However, be cautious about the timing of mulching in early spring. Applying mulch too early can insulate the soil, preventing it from warming up. Wait until the soil has had a chance to absorb some sun first.

(Pro tip: When it comes to weed control hacks, vinegar takes center stage. Mix it in a 1:1 ratio with water and a few drops of liquid soap, then spray directly onto weeds when they are hot and vulnerable. Miss your plants though, it will kill them too.)


Early Bloomers

Plant the first warriors of spring, and that doesn’t have to mean just daffodils or tulips. Early-blooming flowers and shrubs have a lot of variety and will give you the burst of color you are craving. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Pansies and Violas: Hardy and resilient, they can withstand whatever early spring throws their way.
  • Crocuses and Snowdrops: Plant these bulbs in the fall for dainty blooms strong enough to push through spring snow.
  • Forsythia and Witch Hazel: These are both shrubs with brave yellow blooms that come out before their leaves emerge and offer the first bit of spring color

We are so close, friends; hang in there and soon endless warm, sunny days will be here to stay. Hopefully these tips will help keep you busy and feeling productive while you’re waiting to get in the garden.

I would love to see what you are planting this spring, so please share your gorgeous gardens with us, and maybe they will be on our next show! Send them to

In the meantime, get ready to get your hands in the dirt, and happy spring!


Happy everything friends!