Getting a head start on gardening in colder conditions

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All these showers are supposed to bring May flowers but the chillier spring temperatures haven’t been providing the best conditions for planting.

Those in the Northland with a green-thumb are itching to get out and start growing but Haley Diem, the Outreach and Education director for the Duluth Community Gardens, says Duluthians have to wait until Memorial Day to plant things outdoors.

But there are things you can do to get a head-start in the meantime.

"Now’s a good time to plant tomatoes – if you have a sunny windowsill, you can start your tomato seeds," says Diem. "If you don’t have the place to grow inside, you could always wait to buy transplants from greenhouses, especially since we have a short growing season here in Duluth because it’s so cold."

Diem says certain plants really appreciate getting the head start like anything in the cabbage, or Brassica, family.

Knowing how our temperatures fluctuate, when it is time to start planting outdoors, gardeners will still want to keep an eye on the weather and protect plants against overnight frosts.

"I like to save old sheets and then you can lay those over during the nighttime, during the low, and it can kind of provide a little bit of a barrier for the plants to help them survive the night."

If interested in creating your own food this season but don’t have a place to plant, Duluth Community Gardens offer spaces for anyone in the area looking for soil.

Diem says that registration is open online for new gardeners to sign up, with an interactive map that shows which plots are still available.