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It's the perfect time for some planting in Western Montana

Caras Nursery
Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 31, 2021

MISSOULA — We’re hitting the ground running in April with temperatures forecasted to be in the 60s for the next few days and for those with a green thumb, it’s finally time to put some of those vegetables in the ground.

“It is a good time to start thinking about putting in your cool season veggies. Spinach, some bok choy, you can do lettuce, any leafy things like that or anything like roots, carrots, radishes those type of things, those are cool season crops," explained Caras Nursery owner Bill Caras.

Caras suggests getting those in the ground over the next two to three weeks, with the knowledge that they can handle pretty cold conditions.

Caras Nursery
Caras Nursery on South Third Street West in Missoula

He says there are vegetables you’ll want to wait a while to plant, “cucumbers, and squash, and tomatoes, and eggplant those things really don’t like the cold at all, and that includes corn and beans, so you’ll want to wait until our last frost.”

On average, Missoula receives its last frost around the third to fourth week of May.

When it comes to planting annuals Caras says it’s too early for begonias and marigolds, but there are plenty that are good to go, “you can put out things like pansies early, petunias early. Most perennials if we’ve got them out here, they might as well be in the ground at your house.”

Caras Nursery
Caras Nursery on South Third Street West in Missoula

If you’re looking at doing some landscaping work, now is the perfect time according to Caras, “any of the trees and shrubs and berries, they’ll be rooting in immediately even if they’re not leafing out, and so there is a small advantage to planting early.”

He says it’s also time to be thinking about your lawn, “it is a good time to hit the lawn with a good organic fertilizer. Same with trees and shrubs, you’re welcome to do that.”

So, if you’re looking for a good excuse to soak in the April sunshine, while getting some work done, you now have a list of projects to catapult you into the beautiful spring months ahead.