- Mothers day is traditionally the last date on which frost can be anticipated in the Philadelphia area, so despite the recent warm temperatures don't set out tomatoes, peppers, and annuals such as marigolds or zinnias too early.
- Be sure to harden off any plants before planting them outside. A cold frame is perfect, if like me you are lacking one place the plants in a protected area and cover them with a light fleece at night.
- My houseplants and geraniums have been dying a slow death inside from benign neglect and low light levels. I put them outside at the first opportunity and watered them well. Like seedlings, place them in a sheltered spot and baby them at night and cold days with a light fleece blanket.
- Continue planting potatoes, onion sets and onions plants outdoors.
- Sow seeds of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants in seed pots. Make sure the soil temperature remains between 70-75 degrees - electric warming mats are an easy solution. Provide fluorescent overhead lights and cover containers with polyethylene covers to retain moisture and encourage germination.
- Move germinated seedlings to cooler temperatures for healthy growth
- Start planting peas in the ground, continue planting lettuce and spinach and transplant brassicas such as cabbage and broccoli into the garden before the weather becomes permanently warm.
- Complete pruning any roses or perennials that are still leggy or bedraggled.
- Basil and dill are essentials in my kitchen and easy to plant from seed. Dill can be direct sowed in beds and grows best when it is cooler so can be sowed now. Basil seeds can be sown indoors for transplanting outside after the last frost date.
A gloriously hot sunny day today with highs into the 80s. Tempting to rush outside and plant - but next week the temperatures are meant to plummet down into the 30s at night.