When Should You Start Spring Planting?

Yellow bells blooming in February (Image: Ellen Lewis)

An unseasonably warm February might have given you a touch of spring fever already, but if you’re considering planting you probably want to wait a bit longer. A warm February does not mean that we’re also going to have a warm March or April. In fact, a late-season blast of cold air that could damage your plants will arrive for the first week of March.

So, how long do you need to wait before planting? We’re 22 days away from the ‘official’ start of spring on March 20th, but we can still have killing frosts/freezes far beyond that date. The average last freeze for Huntsville is April 2nd, but theĀ latest recorded freeze in Huntsville was on May 7th (in 1944)!

The general rule is to wait until after tax day, on April 15th. This gets you far enough into the spring season that the chances of damaging cold are low.

If you already have some plants out, just make sure you follow the forecast and protect them when we call for cold air! If you can, bring plants inside. If they’re already in the ground, you can try to cover them with a tarp before sunset to help insulate them.

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