Notes from a Novice Gardener: April Snowfall

There's nothing like an April snowfall to put a damper on gardening plans. But what should gardeners be doing in the mean time?

Credit: iStock/ morgani

There’s nothing like an April snowfall to put a damper on gardening plans. Dreams of buying strawberry plants and replanting peppers, dashed away by some sick April Fool joke Mother Nature decided to play.

I was reading over Sharon Hanna’s “what to do in the garden” for March. It’s easy to read and there isn’t a bunch of garden-garble that leaves my beginner mind in a tizzy. It would have been a great resource had I read it back in the beginning of March.

But no, I left it until after we had done everything wrong to read it. We planted the seedlings at the end of February—a bit early—we’ve already got our basil growing, we don’t have a greenhouse for our peppers and I found out someone planted carrot seeds out in the garden in mid-March. I don’t think carrots and snow mix unless snowmen are involved.

But hopefully my theory that plants are smart and strong isn’t too far fetched. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. But that’s the life of a novice gardener, or any gardener at that matter, you never know what can happen. We put so much time into planting and feeding and grooming, but there are so many other significant variables.

Will we be eating fresh tomato and carrot salad this summer on a patio surrounded by wildflowers? Or will we be ordering cheese pizzas and locking ourselves inside so we don’t have to look at barren soil? We’re aiming for the first, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Now onto April. The Farmer’s Almanac says the last frost was Mar. 28. But does that mean I can start planting? Or is there another way to gauge it?

In the mean time is there anything I can do in the garden to get the best out of it this summer?
Is there anything I can do for the tomato plants that have sprouted inside and are waiting for some warmer weather? Are my homeless peppers hopeless?