After a long cold winter and a wildly unpredictable spring, it's finally time to start planting in the Ohio Valley.
Both the thermometer and the calendar are in agreement.
The greenhouses are suddenly swarming with customers.
They are buying vegetable plants as well as flowers.
The seedlings that were carefully nurtured for months are now strong enough to be outdoors full time.
"The last frost in this part of West Virginia is normally between the May 15 and 20, so it's about time to start putting your plants in," says Minerva Byers of the Green Wheeling Initiative.
Earlier cold season crops like potatoes, onions and peas have already taken hold in the garden.
They aren't affected by frost.
But now, even those sensitive sun-loving plants are ready to be taken home and planted in your garden.
"Now we can start putting in things like tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers and zucchini," says Don Rhodes, owner of Rhodes Florist. "As far as the flowers, we can put in our impatiens, petunias, begonias, all the different hanging baskets are safe now so really the weather has broken and it's time to start planting."
The Green Wheeling Initiative is holding garden workshops all summer, for everyone from the novice to the seasoned gardener.
Saturday, May 18 at noon, the first workshop is planned at the Wheeling Island Community Garden behind Madison School.
"We're doing a workshop on raised bed gardening and square foot gardening which are both very basic techniques to enable you to have a garden in your town as opposed to somewhere out in the country," said Byers.
For more information about garden workshops slated for this summer, call Minerva Byers at (304) 780-0397.