Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesThe weather forecast is finally what we have all been waiting for. The lows are high and the highs are perfect. The recent warm/hot weather of early March was simply ridiculous. Now, even though it may be a little bit early still, the forecast is great. You might want to be a bit cautious about any really big gardening projects but it is certainly time to do some container gardening. I am going to be placing potted gardens outside all around my house and business. This is a very safe way to get an early jump on gardening and still remain safe to not just cover those pots if the weather gets cold, but to be able to move them inside during a frosty night or two.

Combination pots of beautiful mixed flowering plants have been a favorite gift for Mother’s Day for years and years. A hanging basket is another safe and easy pot to move back inside in case of an unexpected frost. I don’t mean to scare you but planting annuals and “soft” vegetable plants in the ground before mother’s Day is always risky. I’m not saying not to do it but don’t do it all at once. Do a few plants now just in case the weather never gets bad again and then plant more later when you feel even more comfortable. Who says the garden has to be completed all in one weekend. Gardening should be done in several easy steps spaced out over the period of at least 4 to 6 weeks.

Plants that should be considered early on would include cold crop vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and many cold crop seeds like carrots, radishes and lettuce. Most flowering perennials, trees and shrubs are safe early, as well as violas and pansies. Planting tomatoes and peppers early is risky but cucumbers, squash and melons…no way!

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