Springtime gardening: When is the best time to start digging?

In Colorado Springs, FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thursday’s wet and chilly weather is giving gardeners a tough time. Even local planting shops spent most of Wednesday night and Thursday covering their supply.

Rick’s Garden Center on West Uintah Street sold completely out of frost blankets, which cover plants in case of rainy or cold weather.

Co-owner Mike Estes said the blankets don’t always give full protection to plants, especially if it snows or gets below freezing, but they do add that extra layer of insulation. If you don’t have access to one, don’t worry. It isn’t your only option.

“Buckets also work well. Five gallon buckets over the top of your plants. That way, the warmth comes through the soil and gets trapped inside the bucket,” said Estes.

If you don’t have that, Estes said cloth is better than plastic when it comes to insulating.

“It could be a blanket, sheets, towels, anything like that. It could be a sleeping bag,” said Estes.

For some plants, these May showers don’t rain on their parade.

“Most perennials are fine outdoors, but things like pansies and violas, snapdragons, dianthus, which are a carnation, those are very hardy in the cold,” said Estes.

As for those veggies, Estes said you can start planting radishes, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, among other things.

He said as we get closer to Memorial Day weekend, gardeners should have better luck.

“The last average frost date is May 15, give or take about ten days, so usually by the 25th of May we’re pretty darn safe,” said Estes.

Estes said herbs and flowers like impatiens and dahlias are extremely cold sensitive.

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