When can I start planting & what can I plant?

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If you've been enjoying the nicer weather you're not alone and if you like to garden you're probably wondering when you can start planting and what you can plant. If you've seen any dandelions in bloom you may be thinking about digging them up or treating them with weed killer.

But these yellow flowers can give us some valuable information. When dandelions start to bloom the soil temperature is back into the low to mid-50s.

This is the time of year you can plant your heartier crops. These are the crops like lettuce, cabbage, carrots and swiss chard. If you want to plant sensitive plants you need to wait a little longer.

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The general rule is to wait until after Mother's Day to start planting things like that and that's a pretty good guideline.

Crops like corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and beans should be planted after May 15. If you want to plant anything in the cucumber family you'll need to wait a little longer.

Things like zucchini, squash, watermelons, pumpkins and cucumbers need to be put into the ground sometime after May 30. Not only are temperatures more favorable but we're typically past the first adult set of squash bugs by that time.

Central Ohio has gotten past the average last frost date and more than a few areas have a 90% chance of being done with frost until the upcoming fall.

Having said that Columbus has had a frost as late as May 16 but right now the long-term computer forecast models aren't hinting that we'll see anything like this in the coming days. We'll keep you posted if that changes.