Plant some tomatoes. I know you've all been champing at the bit to get them in the ground, so, assuming that you've hardened them off a little and that night temperatures are finally holding steady at 55 and above, just go do it. Dig a quarter hole for a nickel plant - that means dig the hole bigger than the pot the plant came out of. Add some well-rotted compost, water the hole, and plant the little babies up to their necks. Then water from above as well to settle the soil around the roots. I usually add some worm compost to the surface, or water with worm compost tea to introduce just the right amount of micronutrients and microcritters to the newly planted area.
Clean out your worm bin. Or start one. Because spring plantings benefit so much from worm compost, and fresh worm poop is best, and we all generate so much garbage in our lives, it makes sense. If you already have a worm bin, stop feeding for a week. Then take the whole thing outside and dump it on a tarp in the sun. Worms will burrow into the middle of the pile to get away from the heat and light, and you can gently scrape away the now-worm-free compost on the edges. Refurbish the worm bin with fresh newspaper, introducing the old worms into their new home. I put handfuls of the fresh compost into a full watering can and water generously around new plantings.
Enjoy all the plant sales. Unlike at the big-box stores, the smaller annual sales often feature specialties like hardy perennials and native plants. Personally, this weekend, I'll be checking out the 103rd annual Rittenhouse Square Flower Market for Children's Charities. After 103 years of practicing, I think they just might have gotten it right.
Sally McCabe is associate director of community education at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (phsonline.org) and a co-owner of Cobblestone Krautery (www.cobblestonekrautery.com).