In Southwest Michigan, our last frost date in spring is usually sometime between May 10 and May 20. Then again, there is no such thing as a normal spring! Years ago, most people would wait for “decoration day.” Today most people are pushing the edge of the envelope, planting earlier and earlier and why not? You can be Frosty the “grow” man by planting your containers first. Soil in containers warms faster than ground soil in spring. You can also drag containers into the garage if we get an “iffy” night. Cold wet ground soil for a prolonged period can stunt growth of annuals with the effects evident well into June. You can also plant light frost tolerant annuals with confidence. Pansies are a great choice. The display pictured above is a combination of Pansies, Snapdragons and Parsley, all cold tolerant. Other good choices are Ornamental Kale, Alyssum, Lobelia, Petunias, and Violas. In the vegetable area, plant Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Onions, Peas, Cauliflower.
If you’re daring enough to be Frosty the “grow” man, make sure you’re ready to take cover with tender annuals like Impatiens, Ageratum, Salvia, Coleus and Begonias. Same goes for tender veggies like Peppers, Tomatoes or Cucumbers. Some plants you can’t even say the “frost” word around. C’mon, be a Frosty the “grow” man and roll the dice!