The Q&A Archives: Planting Earlier After a Mild Winter

Question: When can I plant my seedlings outside? We have had a very mild winter - temperatures have been averaging in high 40's - 50's. I started my cucumber bush seedlings indoors and my annuals (zinnias, salvia, marigolds). Since this has been such a mild winter, does the planting time get moved up - normally I can't plant until May 1. I am rather anxious to get this season under way! Also, if my cumcumbers are going to be grown in containers on my deck, does that make a difference in planting time? Thanks! Marie Chandler Columbia, MD

Answer: I wouldn't get fooled by a warm winter into putting out transplants or seeds too much earlier than normal. April still can be cool, rainy and unpleasant. You may be able to stretch the season a week or two as you get closer to May 1, but no more than that. If you plant in containers, you can start even earlier as long as you can protect the containers by moving them or covering them overnight on cool nights.

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