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Today is March 20, the vernal equinox, better known as the first day of spring. For most of us around the country, this is a day that couldn’t come soon enough. After this tough winter, gardeners are especially joyful today.
Listen to BOB VILA ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING or read the text below:
Of course, just because the calendar says it’s spring, that doesn’t mean you can dash out and start planting. Some areas still have snow on the ground or temperatures that dip below freezing at night. And even if you feel spring in the air, the danger of frost may not be past, so consult a garden zone map to see when your zone is considered safe from freezing.
March is also mud season in lots of places, with melted snow and spring rains combining to make a squishy mess of lawns and gardens. Don’t try to start gardening too soon—it’s a waste of time to do anything until the soil dries out a bit. Cold, muddy soil is simply not hospitable to seeds.
If you’re eager to plant and want to check your soil, stick a shovel or pitchfork down into it six inches or so. When you pull it out, check to see if muddy soil sticks to it. If it does, it’s not time yet. Wait until a shovel comes out cleanly before you start to plant.
Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.