By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – No fooling: Several years ago I planted flats of annuals on April 1st because it was so hot that year and I just couldn’t resist.

I got lucky – those annuals survived into summer and fall, but it was risky because, no matter how many 70 degree days we get in April, there can always be a late freeze. Once annuals start showing up in garden centers, it’s easy to be tempted to plant them, but the last frost date in our area is around Mother’s Day and that warning exists for a reason.

Last year, with a warm winter and trees blooming by March, I boldly planted annual flowers and herbs in April. Then it snowed, they froze and died, and as much fun as it was to get an early start, it wasn’t funny to have to buy and replant them all over again.

So, take it from me – it’s better to wait until mid-May to plant tender annuals than risk being an April fool.

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