Judging when to plant

Spring planting is always a gamble. Of course, we want to plant as early as possible so as to enjoy young lettuces, cabbage, spinach and peas as soon as possible. But the risk involves planting too early so that frost or even late snow destroys our young crops.

This year the warm, almost summery days have most gardeners confused and disputing about when to plant. I’m planting early and here’s why.

applepinkMy friend and kitchen garden client Barbara has an ancient crab apple tree that always blooms on Mothers’ Day. Except this year. It’s in full bloom and fragrant right now. This tells us that the late March soil and air temperatures are comparable to mid-May even though the duration of sunlight isn’t. I’m taking my cue from the crab apple and planting early through late spring seeds and seedlings now. Perhaps, it’s greedy of me to want to be eating out of my garden immediately but I just can’t resist this early spring anymore than the ancient crab apple.

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