As soon as the soil thaws and is dry enough to work in, plant bare-root asparagus crowns. Choose a spot in full sun for these long-lived perennials. Set roots in a 1-foot-deep trench, then cover roots with a few inches of soil that's been amended with compost. Add more soil as the plants grow until the trench is full.
As you begin planning and planting your vegetable garden beds, remember to rotate crops: Avoid planting crops in the same family in the same spot more than once every three years. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are in the same family; so are squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins. Many pests overwinter in the soil, so moving plants around can disrupt their life cycles.
Start Cole Crops Indoors
Start seeds of cole crops, including broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower indoors under lights. You'll have transplant-sized plants in about 6 weeks, ready for planting outdoors a few weeks before the average last spring frost date.
Add Raised Beds
Raised beds dry out faster and warm up more quickly in spring than regular garden beds, so include at least a few in your landscape for early planting. They can be as simple as a flat-topped mound of soil, or as elaborate as decorative stone- and wood-framed beds. Fill them with soil that's been amended with lots of compost. Whatever you choose, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well plants grow.
Start Gardening Early
Our unpredictable spring weather and short gardening season can mean a late start for spring planting, so this year try some season-extenders, such as covered grow tunnels, cold frames, and hot caps, which can protect plants from late cold snaps.