The Q&A Archives: Working the Soil in Temperate Regions

Question: What exactly is meant by the directions "Plant as soon as the soil can be worked"? In my area, many years the soil never freezes sufficiently to prevent working at any time during the entire year. Joe Simon Colorado Springs, CO

Answer: "Plant as soon as the ground can be worked" is a phrase used by lots of cold weather gardeners to know when to turn the soil in spring. If your ground doesn't freeze, it's probably more a matter of when it dries out enough to work or how far away youare from your last expected frost date. You don't want to till soil that's too wet, because it will ruin the soil structure. In Colorado, you can be planting cool season crops like peas and spinach in March, depending on the winter.

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