The calendar tells us that March 20 is the first day of Spring. But the roller coaster temperatures of recent weeks, including 19 degrees F, have confused many of the plants, and left most of us longing for the promised warmer temperatures and longer days to come.
The Farmers’ Almanac tells us the average date of the last frost for our zone is April 15. Add to that the old wives’ saying that “Thunder in February means Frost in April”. If that last is true, we should expect frost on April 19th. Mark your calendar and check it out.
Meanwhile, the occasional spell of warmer days may turn your thoughts to planting. The plants offered for sale right now will tempt you, but it is best to stick to planning for now. It is a good time to get inspired by the “perfect” pictures illustrating the many catalogs arriving in the mail. Lay out your garden plan and clean and sharpen your tools. Begin to prepare your soil for that later date when it is “safe” to plant.
For Polk County Master Gardeners, the next months will be filled with committee meetings and potting days as they plan ahead for the annual Plant Sale, to be held this year May 11th at the Fairgrounds. Add that date to your calendar, right alongside the supposed April 19th frost!