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Resist Temptation To Plant Too Soon

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Careful – as it gets hotter out don’t get burned – or rather frostbitten.

It’s understandable – after a rough winter, you go shopping on a sunny day that’s so warm that you don’t need a coat, and as soon as you see pretty plants for sale you want to start sticking them out in your garden. But if you do, you can get stuck spending double to replace them if it freezes again.

Our last frost date around here isn’t until Mother’s Day – the middle of May, a month away. It’s not unheard of to get heavy snow here in late April or light snow in early May – and after this winter, it’s pretty clear Mother Nature likes a joke, so why risk it?

Unless you want to drag all your pots back inside or run outside covering everything every time there’s a cold snap, resist the urge to plant those tomatoes and zinnias. For now, stick to plants that can shake off shivering cold: pansies, primroses, pots of bulbs and hardy herbs like parsley. Because if you can’t resist planting tender annuals too soon, you may wake up one cold April day to find your summery begonias and basil have freezer burn. And then you’ll just have to buy and plant them all over again.