Oh spring... the weather is warming but it's still a complete guessing game this time of year. A surprise freeze, unpredictable rain, you just never really know. By now, everyone should have their seeds started and trees and shrubs pruned. Go ahead, get started in the garden, but keep the row covers handy just in case!
Algoplus Garden Blog
To improve your chances of ideal growing conditions in this unpredictable time of year, sow each crop in a couple batches, staggered about a week apart.
Cool-season crops should be planted in the garden now. Cool-season vegetables grow best at temperatures averaging 15° cooler than those needed by warm season varieties and need to mature in cool weather.
Herbs - Cilantro, Dill, Lavender, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
*Not affected by frost and can be planted directly in the garden in cooler climates.
Start summer garden annual flower and vegetable seeds - under lights if your zone is still too cold.
Bean - Lima, Snap
Please note, this list is a starting point. Check your plant hardiness zone to ensure you are planting seedlings and transplants at the correct time for your zone.
Checkout Rodale's Seed Starting Chart to give you a good idea as to when you can plant what seed for your specific weather.
Cut back ornamental grasses - tie blades together and cut them back to a few inches above ground level using a serrated bread knife or garden shears
Small clay pots make great cloches for protecting seedlings and small plants from sudden frosts and freezes
Spray horticultural oil on tree fruits and other landscape plants at risk for disease and insect attack. This oil smothers overwintering insects, eggs, and disease spores. Apply before leaves appear and no freezes are forecasted for at least 4 hours after application.
Making your work easier in the garden is worth a little extra effort at the beginning of the season. One was to always have a measuring stick handy is by turning a long handled garden tool into measuring stick. Use a yard stick or tape measure to mark measurements with a permanent marker.
Create some plant markers for your garden using a permanent marker or paint on small stones, wine corks, clay pots, bricks, pavers, wood or even on empty glass bottles. Get creative or keep it simple, it's up to you!
The Micro Gardener has some great DIY ideas for garden markers on her site. Check out the blog here.