Getting That Garden to Grow

Posted on June 13, 2012

The art of gardening is challenging.  You can plant an entire loot of vegetables, flowers, and fruits, and have all or only two plants grow.  Often, a lack of results when gardening comes from a lack of knowledge in the correct planting times.

Knowing your zone is always an excellent idea to figure out when you can plant your vegetables. Landscapers in Massachusetts as well as gardeners all over the US have to have some experience with their area’s zone to have a happy and healthy garden and lush landscape. Most of Massachusetts, however, is Zone 5, with Cape Cod and the seacoast being at Zone 6.

Vegetables require care and knowledge of frost dates before planting. Generally, for Massachusetts, the last expected frost date happens around May 15. There are several categories of vegetables that can tolerate different levels of frost.

  1. Hardy vegetables: Peas, radish, broccoli and spinach are included in this category. These can tolerate frost and short periods of freezing temperatures. Can be planted once the soil is dry enough and daytime temperatures are over 40F.
  2. Semi hardy: Include beet, potato, carrot and cauliflower. These can tolerate a light frost. Plant when temperatures are over 40-50F.
  3. Tender: Beans, corn and cucumbers are included. Do not plant until a week after the last average frost date.
  4. Very tender: Includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and melons. Do not plant outside until at least 2 weeks after the frost date.


The right method of planting for each vegetable will help ensure a healthy crop. Beans, sunflowers and other large seeds do best when planted in small, evenly spaced hills. Spreading vegetables, like zucchini, pumpkins and other melons do best when kept in mounds about a foot and a half high. Much of the time, seeds do best when planted in rows. Using fertilizer (usually one with a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium) as well as regular watering will help make your plants grow big and strong.

Landscapers in Massachusetts are your best resource for getting that garden the way you want it. Cataldo Landscaping can help you to get your garden ready and growing this year!