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The Cure For Gardening Spring Fever

umbrella in spring gardenIn central Ohio the weather is exceedingly warm for this time of year. The temperatures coupled with lots of rainfall make it feel a bit like June around here.

What does that mean for the gardener?

dwarf cherry blossoms

Most of us are itching for the garden to catch up to the weather. If the grass is growing so high, why shouldn't we start summer vegetables early? If the fruit trees are in bloom, why not plant tender annuals?

Hold your horses. The experienced growers at Monday's Central Ohio Food Forum (Jaime from Wayward Seed Farm, Joseph from Swainway Urban Farm, Trisha from Local Matters and myself) agreed that the risk of a frost is just too high right now. The frost free date is a debatable May 1- May 15 in our new zone and too many growers have been burned by planting before early May.

Don't be bummed. There are plenty of other spring gardening tasks to take up your time.

Early spring edible gardening jobs

Use your gardening energy wisely right now to ensure bigger better harvests later on. Here are some seasonally appropriate ideas:

  • Plant cold hardy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, chard, greens, onions, and potatoes. The little green sprouts that mature quickly in saladry are so satisfying to grow.
  • Weed. I pulled some dandelion and clover today today and man are they well established already! Weeding shortly after a rain usually makes it easier to remove the roots.
  • Rake any remaining leaves into yard waste bags or your compost bin.
  • Mulch flower beds and around fruit trees.
  • Collect rain. Right or install rain barrels, test hoses, or start setting up a rain garden so that when the big storms come you can collect water for use in the heat of the summer.
  • Mind your beds. Turn over the top few inches of soil to aerate it, make sure any edging is in good order, fence them from dogs and chickens, and add a layer of compost if needed. This is a good time of year to do soil testing so that you can make amendments before the summer starts go in.

peas growing in spring gardenThese activities should be plenty to dirty your hands for the next 38 days until the full growing season begins!

How are you keeping busy in your spring garden?