By all accounts spring is officially here in middle Tennessee so I should be out there digging in the dirt, happily planting flowers and veggies. And trust me, I really want to be doing just that- but I know better.  I’m in a gardening holding pattern waiting for that last frost warning to come and go.

spring, signs, birds, Robin #garden

You see, I am a firm believer in all the old farmers and gardeners around here. The ones who read the weather patterns and can tell you if we’ve gone through the Dogwood winter, or the blackberry winter, or whatever winter remains well after the calendar says spring has begun. 

I wasn’t always a believer though. When we first moved to the Nashville area in the 90’s, I still had a west coast gardening mentality and I lost a few plants before I decided I best take heed.  

There are several good resources for you to find out the true planting and growing season in your area.

Naturally, you can Google it, but you may not get an in depth answer.  You can buy a Farmers Almanac, which I would like to do some day- but let’s face it, I’m not a farmer, and so the almanac isn’t exactly riveting reading for me.  You can listen to your daily weather forecast, but most TV stations cover a large viewing area, so again, you may not get the best information for your specific neighborhood.

So what’s a gardener to do? So glad you asked. Go hyper local for your information.

tree, leaves, spring

1. Go to your local Co-Op, Nursery or Farmers Market and ask questions. There will always be somebody there happy to answer them.

2. Join a local Gardening club or befriend a neighborhood gardener. I have two lady gardening friends who give me extra plant starts almost yearly. I pay it forward when I can.

3. Get to know your neighborhood. While you are driving from point A to point B, take notice of who is doing what in their yards and gardens. For instance, I noticed the lady who has a lovely border of Buttercups, Irises and other early spring bloomers out in her beds every morning when I went by to take my daughter to her early Glee practices.

I’ve also noticed that 3 of the local vegetable gardens I admire in the summer have tilled but not planted. And I’m betting if I were to stop and chat with the owners, I'd learn that they’ve had their seeds started for weeks and have been tending to them, just waiting for the last frost to come and go. 

Please share with me in comments, what are you planting this year?