Planting Outdoors

Your yard might be buried under feet of snow or you might have no snow and sunny skies like here in Utah. In either case it really is time to think about what to plant and when. Besides, don’t you have spring fever?

In many parts of the U.S. you can begin planting by March. If you have a few inches of snow that you can clear away even in a small area you can go ahead and plant. What you would plant soon would not be likely to be bothered by cold or freezing temperatures that we will still have.

Peas, spinach, lettuce, arugula, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and perennial herbs such as chives should be fine planted now.

First though, you want to do something with your soil. My preference is to add a few inches of compost to the top of your raised beds or even right on the ground – then plant. This gives you some unfrozen ground to plant in, improves your soil, and will provide some nutrients for the plants.

I usually plant my peas by March 5. St. Patrick’s Day is considered to be the day by which you should have planted your peas. When the weather is just right the seeds will emerge. It may take a bit longer than usual but the seeds seem to know when the time is right.

If you have several feet of snow you might want to consider planting your early crops in pots. Use pots that can withstand the temperature changes. Fiberglass, plastic, and wood usually hold up for a few years at least. Unglazed terra cotta may last one or two seasons. Plant indoors using potting soil (not garden soil) which you have thoroughly watered before planting. Then place your pot outdoors. Don’t leave it indoors long enough for the seeds to sprout.