The "do's and dont's" of spring gardening

Longfellow's Garden Center recommends planting cold weather vegetables before the end of March.

As freezing temperatures fade away, staff at Longfellow's Garden Center say certain types of plants are ready to go in the ground, but others aren't.

Garden expert Bob Call and his staff have begun to move some of their cold weather vegetables outside to get them accustomed to outdoor temperatures.

"We've done a little moving," Call said. "We've moved some things out, then we had to move them back in, then back out again. Hopefully this kind of weather will sort itself out."

Call said the middle of March is a good time to plant vegetables and other plants that can withstand variable temperatures.

"If you wait too long to plant some things like cold crops, radishes, onions, and spinach, sometimes the temperatures warm up so much that they don't do as well," Call said. "Those vegetables actually like the cool nights and cooler days of early spring."

Mid-March is also a good time to begin landscaping. Landscape Foreman Rick Goans said trees and shrubs will be able to withstand the varying temperatures in March and April.

However, Goans said he has one big piece of advice for people planting trees. "After you plant them, get some water on them. We'll be running into some dry conditions soon if we don't start getting some moisture."

Call said even for gardeners reluctant to plant now, mid-March is still a good time to till the soil.

For now, Call said, there are a few vegetables that shouldn't be planted.

"Definitely do not plant tomatoes or peppers," Call said. "Obviously cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini, anything that is what we call a warm weather plant."

Call said the most important thing to remember for planting season is time.

"There's no sense in rushing it and having the plant material struggle and possibly die," Call said. "Be patient, it will straighten out at some point."