Spring is here, but gardeners say planting season isn’t

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – Spring is finally here. But experts say it’s still too early to get into your garden.

KWWL visited Jordan’s Nursery in Cedar Falls. They said while we had a stretch of warm days this past week, frost in the ground is about eight inches deep.

Their biggest message to gardeners right now is to be patient. They’re not encouraging people to begin planting just yet.

Kim Jordan has been working at the nursery for nearly 20 years. Eastern Iowans are dealing with the aftermath of a rainy fall and a brutal winter. She said soil is still very cold and wet, and the worst thing you can do is try to plant in messy conditions.

You may be able to plant cabbage or potatoes right now. However, getting ahead may actually hurt your garden in the long run.

“You can plant too quickly,” Jordan said. “You dig a hole and put the new pot of plant in there, and the rains come, that loose soil is going to absorb water and it’s going to hold, potentially drowning your new plant. It’s just a matter of slowing the process down and being patient.”

Instead of planting too early, Jordan encourages her customers to let plants and flowers grow in the greenhouse. Once they bud there, you can bring them home, which saves time and effort.

Jordan said planting season comes at different times each year. It’s hard to predict. However there are a few signs:

  • Flowers and leaves begin to appear
  • Night time temperatures get warm enough to melt the frost in the ground (50 degrees Fahrenheit or so)
  • Farmers begin to plant their crops

While it’s not time for people to tend to their gardens, Jordan said you can prepare your yard. She recommended getting your insect repellents, grub control and overseed ready.

Olivia Schmitt

Olivia Schmitt

Morning Reporter at KWWL
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