Southern Maine

About My Southern Maine Garden

I garden at my home in coastal Southern Maine. When I first moved into my house in 1992, my yard was a recently cleared one-acre on the edge of about 30 acres of woodland. I brought in truckloads of loam and over the years worked hard to improve the soil. I have some areas that are mostly clay and others where fill was brought in during the construction of the house. Maine soil tends to be acidic due to the pine needles.

The woods are filled with White Pine, Eastern Hemlock, Poplar, Beech, Oak and Maple. I planted some shrubs such as Rhododendron, Boxwood, Holly, Juniper, Mock Orange, and my treasured Lilacs. My Lilacs came from an ancient New England farm near my childhood home.

Over the years, the lawn has given way to various flower and vegetable gardens. As time passed, the trees grew taller, so I don't have as much sunlight as when I first began gardening here, but I am able to raise vegetables, berries, and herbs for my family.  I'm looking into removing and pruning some trees to make more sunlight.

I aso have a plot at a local community garden which gives me added space to grow organic food for my family.


In my climate, most of my planting is done in May or June. I do plant peas as soon as the ground is workable, and that date varies anywhere from Mid-March to Mid-April. Then I start other hardy crops like spinach. I have a few perennial edibles that pop up in the spring including Chives, Garlic Chives, Egyptian Onions, Bee Balm, and several varieties of Mint.

I come from a long line of gardeners in the southern Maine area going all the way back to some of the first settlers of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I grew up watching my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles nurture home gardens to feed their families. My son is a Maine Master Gardener Volunteer, so I have a resident expert to consult.

Southern, ME Frost Dates
Last 5/25 First 9/18

You can read more about Maine's climate here.
For a map of Maine's hardiness zones click here.

Portland, Maine Climate graph contributed by

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