Saturday, March 22

Do you know the last killing frost date for your town?

Just a wee note to my fellow Montana and Helena gardeners (and would-be gardeners) ... check the climate summary charts at MSU Extension service Garden Guide for the last killing frost dates for your area (scroll down to Lewis & Clark County for Helena) As usual, don't take these for gospel ... every year is different. Still, it's good to note when to plant according to data from years past.

Exploration Garden at the Helena YMCA, seedlings planted by kids.
Photo © Maureen Shaughnessy

Tim and I usually plant our vegetable garden on Memorial Day weekend or the next weekend. Hardy shrubs and perennials can be planted earlier. I like to cover our garden beds with a layer of black plastic to warm up the soil earlier than it would if left uncovered. We've discovered we get huge veggies that way. Well, we also amend our garden soil every year with lots of leaves, compost and aged manure -- I guess that has something to do with our gardening success. (grin)

MSU Garden Guide articles for March
MSU Extension list of yard and garden publications