Digging up signs of spring

By Kelly McCarthy

April 7, 2014 Updated Apr 7, 2014 at 6:50 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After a cold, harsh winter, the first signs of spring are getting a warm welcome and people are ready to get out in their gardens.

"We've started to get extremely busy right, the last couple days,” said Joan Pasquale, a nursery salesperson at Binghamton Agway. “As soon as that sun comes out, out comes the customers too."

People are loading up on seeds, soil, and anything that will get the garden started.

"They want color, they want flowers, and of course right now it's primroses and it's pansies,” said Pasquale.

But not all types of flowers are ready to be planted.

"In most cases your annuals will not withstand the cold. Perennials, to an extent will,” said Pasquale.

In most places around the Twin Tiers, the ground is frozen and it's still too early to dig. But that doesn't stop people, who are eager to start working on their gardens, to start asking for advice.

"We tell them as soon as you can get into the ground, you can begin planting,” said Pasquale.

Although some flowers can be planted in early April, don’t assume everything can be planted.

"You gotta be careful as far as vegetables and that kind of gardening," said Jim Hoteling, the owner of Hillside Garden Center. "Things can still be sensitive and you never want to jump the gun too much on that,” .

Instead, Hoteling suggests clearing out the old to make way for the new.

"Cutting off the old perennial debris, getting any of the leaves that are leftover from last year, that can all get cleaned up right now,” said Hoteling.

The weather has the final say in when a garden is ready to go.

"As much as we would want it to warm right up quick, it's good if it warms up very slowly,” said Hoteling.

If it warms up too fast plants will start to bloom prematurely and then die if it gets cold again.

Pasquale said most flowers can be planted outside starting in May. Anything planted before then should be kept inside overnight.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.