Even though it’s already starting to look and a lot like spring at greenhouses in Central Ohio, it will be several weeks before you can go home with some of the plants and plant them in your garden.
“If they want to take a fern basket, or something like that and put it outside in 6 weeks, that’s fine. We’re not set up to sell a lot of plants until about the middle of March,” said Jerry Dill, owner of Dill’s Greenhouse.
And that’s because beautiful flowers like these can’t handle the cold winter and early spring nights like some heartier plants.
“People will say, the old wives tale is that potatoes can go in around St. Patrick’s Day, and onions, so it really just depends though. I would say pay attention to how wet it is. You don’t necessarily want to plant into a wet yard or garden. But around that date they can handle the cold. Other things like cold crops: broccoli, cabbage, some of those, closer to the beginning of April. And again every year, it depends on the weather, but that would be a good time frame,” Colleen Sapp, a manager at Dill’s Greenhouse said.
If you can’t wait to add some color to your garden, pansies are your best bet.
“Pansies are a beautiful plant when they bloom, but they’ll take a heavy frost and even a freeze.”
So really when we get to the end of March, if somebody says: “I want that, that and that. We take them and show them the pansies because the pansies are pretty, and they are a beautiful bloom, and they will take the weather, ” Dill said.
Unless you’re prepared to bring them inside to keep them warm, you’ll have to wait until after May 15, which is when Columbus is expected to be frost-free or is the average date of our last freeze.
In the meantime, if you really want to get out in your garden there are some things you can do right now.
“The only advice I would have really right now is probably just go out and clean your yard up. Get ready, get all that maintenance work done so you can really get out. Give us another three or four weeks and we’ll see what the weather’s going to be like and there’s a ton of things that you can do.”
You can do your perennials, your trees or shrubs, your cool crop vegetables, Dill said.
You can plant some seeds. It’s just a little bit early now, so I would say at least every year the weather is a little different. The weather changes. Some years you can do things maybe a week or two earlier than you do other years, so you’ve just got to watch,” Dill said.
If you really have spring fever already and want to get something planted now, start with something that you can keep inside the next couple of months like herbs or succulents.
Dill’s Greenhouse will be hosting events like teaching you how to plant from seed and events for kids starting in March. For more information on these events visit: http://www.dillsgreenhouse.net/events/