Early Spring Planting Time

Although container trees and shrubs can be planted year round, spring is one of the very best times to plant. The cool weather allows root systems to become established while top growth is just starting. This is also a great time to plant roses, berries, perennial flowers, and some hardy annual flowers and vegetables. We can also plant summer flowering bulbs such as lilies, ranunculus, gladiolus, and anemones. These bulbs will all withstand light frosts. Wait until April or May to plant dahlias and begonias. Their new growth is frost tender.

It is easy to remember which vegetables are hardy and which are tender. If you eat the root, stem, leaves, or flower buds, then it is hardy. Two major exceptions with root vegetables are potatoes and sweet potatoes. If you eat the fruit, then it is tender to even light frost. However, English peas and fava or broad beans are quite hardy.

Now is an excellent time to seed or transplant hardy vegetables such as peas, lettuce, spinach, carrot, radish, onion, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Asparagus and rhubarb can be started from roots.

Wait until mid-April to plant tender vegetables such as beans, tomatoes, peppers, melons, and squash. All perennial flowers and ground covers are frost hardy. Annual flowers which are hardy to temperatures in the mid twenties include pansy, ranunculus, primrose, alyssum, snapdragon, petunia, verbena, sweet pea, and lobelia. They all thrive in our cool spring weather.

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