A family garden is a great way to help your family be active and eat more fruits and vegetables. Growing some of your own food can also help you save money on food costs. Springtime is the perfect time to begin planning and growing your garden. An added bonus is that you can use SNAP benefits to purchase vegetable and herb seeds and seedling plants. 

There are several things to consider when you are planning your garden, including the amount of space and sunlight available, access to a water source, and the time of year the plants you would like to grow are planted and harvested. Follow the steps below to plan your Spring garden.

  1. Plan your space: will your garden be a container, in-ground, or raised bed garden? Choose a spot that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Make sure you have easy access to water for watering your plants. 
  2. Start small: Maintaining a garden requires ongoing work. It is better to start small and expand when you are ready. 
  3. Begin with spring crops: several spring crops, including lettuce and peas, have short growing seasons and can be planted before the last frost. For warmer-weather crops, you will need to start seeds indoors, or wait for the last frost date in your area. Use this vegetable planting calendar to decide what you will plant and when. 
  4. Choose your soil: depending on whether you will be planting in containers or raised beds, there are different types of soil available at garden centers. 
  5. Start planting! For more information, check out this Garden Guide for Container and Small Vegetable Gardens.
  6. Work together as a family to water and weed your garden. Children love to feel a sense of ownership. An added plus is that they will be more likely to try new foods that they have grown themselves!

No matter what kind of garden you choose to grow, gardening can be a rewarding experience for the entire family. Growing your own food is a fun way to spend time outdoors as a family, and will help encourage healthy eating for a lifetime.

funding statement logo

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP in cooperation with Maryland’s Department of Human Services and University of Maryland Extension. University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class.