HELENA — From the looks of it, this weekend might tease us with another beautiful day.
The kind of day that will make you want to get outside and finally plant that garden, or work in the yard. However, Montanans shouldn't be fooled by Mother Nature's tricks, this is spring in Montana after all.
Greg Chadwick, owner of Chadwick’s Nursery in Helena, has seen it all before.
The sun comes out after a long winter, and his business is flooded with wide-eyed suburban farmers and florists ready to break their icy bonds at the first sign of warmth in April. Only to then come limping back to his nursery with frost battered plants before the end of the month.
To combat that, Greg says to go by planting dates rather than nice weather. A good recomendation is waiting to start on Mother’s Day.
“You know we want to sell stuff, but you know we’ll have it right here," said Greg. "The greenhouses are nice and warm and they’ll be twice the size when you get them. Just don’t get out there too early.”
Greg also told me that selecting hearty plants and veggies suited for the region is a critical decision. That choice is also something a local nursery can help you with.
“We use everything we can get that is grown in Montana, that can possibly be grown here," Greg added. "If not, we use things that came from more of the western states, Dakota’s, Canada. Knowing where nursery stock came from and all that hardiness that’s in those, that’s what you want to be looking for.”
Maybe the most important resource to use when getting your green thumb dirty this spring is right here on your favorite television news station.
“When Curtis Grevenitz puts on that floral suit and tells you it's going to be 50 degrees during the night, that’s the time that you want to start planting,” laughed Greg. And he should know, he is an expert.