Has Spring Arrived? Should we gardeners begin planning as if it is May?

Is this for Real?

This stretch of summer like weather has us all wondering, “Is this for real”, or will we soon be brought back to reality.

Averages are about 15 degrees above normal – near early May temperatures.

The average temperature here in Lexington for March 20th is 60 degrees.   The high today is supposed to be 84.  Tomorrow’s forecast is for 84 and the next nine days are to average 72 degrees.  The past nine days averaged 72 so that is 18 days at early May temperatures for Lexington.

So what do we do as gardeners?  

I noticed some people buying small tomato plants at the hardware store today.   My advice is to keep those plants indoors until at least the last week of April.  If you must plant them outside be ready to cover them with something when the cold nights return.  Yes, I am predicting we will yet have a frost this spring and probably more than one frost.

What can we do right now if it is still likely to freeze?

It is a great time right now to prepare the soil, dig up those perennial weeds like dandelions and get your seeds started indoors.  It also is a great time to feed your perennials.  I like to use a good mix of organic fertilizers:  feather meal, kelp meal and bone meal.   This is also the best time to plant your cool weather crops outside.  Lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, carrots and beets all like the cool soil.  Yes, the soil is still cool although these warm nights are certainly changing that quickly.

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