Spring is springing!
Spring seems to be taking root, and many a gardener is chomping at the bit to plant. Being New England, spring can mean a 70 degree day then snow the next day, so don't jump the gun yet. Most of the plants you want to put in your garden are more suited to the Mediterranean. Plants like tomatoes, rosemary, peppers and eggplant. These plants don't like the cold. As for seeds, there are some, like green beans that wont germinate without consistent soil temperatures above 50+ degrees. For those of you who just can't wait though, there are plants that can be planted early, and can take a light frost.
Kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are all very sturdy plants. Not only can they take colder temperatures, but in some cases the cold growing conditions actually help intensify flavor. If its flowers you are looking for, pansies and violas are both rather resilient and are perfectly happy to be planted in the chilly New England spring.
If you plan on planting your own seeds for all of your plants, get a jump start by planting seeds indoors near a sunny windowsill or if you have one, under a grow lamp. You just need a light seed starting mix or Pro-mix, waterproof containers like solo cups with holes poked through the bottom, and a waterproof tray; even an aluminum pie plate or lasagna pan would do. Read the back of your seed packets and follow the directions for "transplant."
The fair weather of late spring is not far away now. In zone 5 in which we farm, the safe planting date coincides with Memorial day. You can always chance it and plant around mother's day, but be prepared to protect your plants with sheets or frost cloth if a frost threatens us. If you just can't wait, get a jump on the season with the brassicas like broccoli I mentioned earlier. So trowels and gloves at the ready... spring is springing!