While it may feel like the world is all doom and gloom at the moment, let’s look at the bright side and remember that quarantine is the perfect time to get your at-home garden going!

Getting started

Even if you don’t already have a garden going, getting a small bed set up is fairly inexpensive. And for you city folks out there, don’t fret: Gardens can be done in smaller spaces like balconies, decks, small yards – even in window sills (they’re called ‘gutter gardens.’ Who knew?).

Plus, getting some of your own harvest going saves you unnecessary trips to the grocery store and ensures you know exactly what goes into the food you and your family are eating.

What to plant this season depends on where you live in the US

Because the climates in New York City and Los Angelos aren’t quite the same, the planting schedules of veggies, fruits, and flowers vary between them.

Luckily, there are many tools and garden planning apps that factor in these differences and can help you sow the right seeds at the right time. We like GardenPlantPro and Garden Tags because not only do they keep you on top of what to plant and when, they also offer great tips on how to keep garden pests at bay without pesticides.

What to plant if you’re in the Northern half of the US

Because the northern part of the United States tends to have cooler temperatures year round (when compared to the southern half of the U.S.), now’s a good time for the following goodies:

For vegetables: 

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes (Just like John Denver says: “Only two things money can’t buy – that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.”)
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Dark leafy greens (such as kale and spinach)
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Peas

For fruits:

  • Strawberries (Heads up: Strawberries are one of the most pesticide-covered fruits in the grocery store – so you’ll get to skip all that nonsense.)
  • Melons (Tip: Give your melons a head start by starting them inside and moving them outdoors when it gets a little warmer.)

Note: Many fruits grow on trees, which requires more space. If you can swing it: Good news! (We all need some of that nowadays, don’t we?) Now’s a good time to plant some apple trees. The bad news is it does take a few years before your little tree will bear fruit.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the southern half the US…

Because climates in the southern part of the U.S. tend to be warmer, the planting window for many plants is longer and the variety that can be planted is larger. Now is a great time to get these plants going:

For vegetables:

  • Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Squashes (like zucchini,  pumpkin, etc.)
  • Tomatoes
  • Okra

For fruits:

  • Strawberries
  • Melons

And if you have the space to get a little fruit tree going….

  • Apples
  • Tangerines
  • Lemons
  • Figs (Fun fact: Figs might be one of the world’s most underrated superfoods. Watch out, kale.)

Indoor gardens: Plants that will grow year round

For many Americans living in apartments or other living arrangements without backyards, indoor gardens might be the best option. Luckily, the planting schedule is less important for indoor gardens because (surprise!) the climate inside is controlled. While some plants are quite finicky to cultivate indoors, others thrive inside all year round.

You can use (or repurpose) small containers and put them in sunny places (such as near windows) or get a little gutter garden going – which adds a nice earthy vibe to your ambiance.

Some of those plants include:

  • Carrots
  • Leafy greens (namely, arugula, kale, and lettuce)
  • Microgreens
  • Ginger
  • And best of all….tomatoes.

So there you have it!

No matter where you are, this is a great time to get plant some seeds. Who wouldn’t want to be a little more self sufficient? And best of all, home grown fruits and veggies are usually better tasting (especially strawberries and tomatoes) and more nutritious because they aren’t picked early in anticipation of a long journey to a grocery store.

And just between us (and maybe a few thousand other people reading this article), there are few things in life as pleasurable as biting into a fruit or vegetable you grew yourself. Trust me.

Happy gardening!