Missoula Soil Still Too Cold for Planting Most Garden Plants
Technically, the first day of Spring was March 20th, but it still feels pretty wintery in much of Montana. Horticulturist Sandy Perrin with the Missoula Plant Clinic says the ground is still too cold to start sowing seeds for many garden plants.
"I just checked soil temperatures yesterday and they are running about 40 degrees, but that is still pretty cool for planting any vegetable seeds," said Perrin. "There is some what we call the cold crops out there, which are things like peas, lettuce, spinach, things of that nature that you can put in the ground typically when the soil temperatures are closer to 45 to 50 degrees."
Although planting may not be advisable, there’s still lots for green thumbs to do.
"This is a great time to take some soil tests and get that shipped off to know what your nutrient requirement is or buy a soil test kit at your local garden center," Perrin said. "Now is a great time to aerate your lawn and thinking about getting that first application of fertilizer on. Once we do have a little bit warmer weather, we can get a good kick start."
The other big project to do in early spring is pruning trees and shrubs before the blossoms begin. Perrin says late May will likely be a better time to plant those vegetables.