Four Helpful Tips For Plant Growing Success

Four Helpful Tips For Plants Growing Success

Susan, The Nature Nurse, and I are frequently asked gardening questions. Some examples include questions such as, “When should I plant my tomato seeds?” or “What type of vegetables grow best in my area?”

There’s not always a specific answer to those questions because it really depends on where you live, your climate, and what time of year it is.

I am sharing four helpful and essential tips that can help answer those questions and contribute to your plant growing success. Whether you are a novice who is just starting a new garden or an experienced grower with years of experience, following these four helpful tips can help you succeed with growing plants of your own!

On a humorous note, I cannot stress enough to please learn from my mistakes! Every tip I am sharing with you are tips that I have had to learn all over again after moving from California to Mobile, Alabama. I have almost had to relearn all over again because I have been in California mode since moving here! What grew easily in California is not necessarily the same case in Alabama. Nature can be very humbling!

 The first tip is getting familiar with your plant hardiness zone. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map is available free on-line and can help you determine which plants are most likely to thrive in your location and help rule out which plants most likely will not.

 While knowing your plant hardiness zone and average annual extreme minimum temperature is important, I have found that it is equally important to know that frost can sometimes kill our plants and seedlings. That is why tip number two is knowing the average date of the first and last frost in your region. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a free virtual tool on their website to help you find the average date of the first and last frost in your region. It is important to know both dates because planting before the last frost could cause the frost to kill your seedlings and planting after the first frost could result in failure to germinate. The average dates of the first and last frost are just averages. Frost could arrive earlier than anticipated and can also occur later than expected. Check your local weather forecast for the latest updates and expectations.

 Tip number one and tip number two are both interconnected with tip number three! Tip number three is to follow your plant and seed planting instructions. Generally speaking, plant and seed companies will provide seed planting instructions on the seed packet. Instructions should include when to plant your seeds in your region. That is why it is helpful to know your plant hardiness zone. Seed planting instructions should also include when to plant regarding the frost dates! So, can you see how it would be helpful to know those frost dates?

See how this all ties together? Knowing your plant hardiness zone, identifying the average frost dates, and following seed sowing instructions will help ensure your success in growing your own plants!

 My fourth and final tip is establishing relationships with your local garden centers, farmer’s markets, and like-minded growers can be invaluable sources of information. I can attest to this on a personal level. For example, while working at my local farmer’s market, I am always chatting with other farmers about what they are growing and asking questions about how to grow some of the more popular items. They are always more than willing to share information and tips for success.

I hope you find these four tips helpful! Be sure to follow me, The Nurse Farmer, as well as Susan, The Nature Nurse, for our Healthy Green Thumbs campaign. We will be providing more helpful tips, advice, and recipes through our blog posts, videos, and bi-weekly e-mails. You can sign up for our e-mails at either or

Thanks and good luck with your plant growing success!

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Clifton Joullian R.N., B.S.N.

The Nurse farmer ™

The Nurse Farmer