Wellsburg, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s cool and cloudy across the Mountain State, and now that it’s April, you might be wondering where the sun is.

We’re all anxious to breathe in the fresh scent of flowers and bite into those summer vegetables.

But you may not know that avid gardeners are already well into planning for their planting, beforethe sprinklers are turned on.

I think that’s why we’re given winter, is to give us the ability to recoup our energies to go back at gardening.

Norman Schwertfeger, WVU Regional Extension Agent

Norman Schwertfeger is an agent for WVU’s Extension Service, which covers the entire state of West Virginia.

Their gardening services will take your plants from a packet of seeds to a fruit on the vine, whether you’re a seasoned planter or it’s your first time digging into the dirt.

He says the first question you have to ask yourself is what you want to see on your dinner plate.

What do you like to eat? Because all too often, people plant a whole bunch of different things, and really the whole family doesn’t like to eat everything.

Norman Schwertfeger, WVU Regional Extension Agent

Then you can set about deciding where you want to grow, and getting your hands dirty.

Up here in Brooke County, there’s a lot of clay in the earth, so you’ll want to work it to get the right mix of compost and peat moss.

Schwertfeger says having a raised bed can help with that.

You’ll want to keep it close to your house for watering, and don’t get so eager with planting that you overcrowd your space.

Planning out your garden, draw a little schematic, and that way you’re going to know where you’re going to have things, in case you don’t mark them very well.

Norman Schwertfeger, WVU Regional Extension Agent

He adds that it’s the simple things that draw interested gardeners to the soil—like not having to run to the store for your produce.

When my wife says we’re having a salad or something, go out and get a lot of different vegetables to bring in and just see them chopped up and put in the salad, and that to me, I really enjoy that.

Norman Schwertfeger, WVU Regional Extension Agent

As you can see by those already-blooming flowers, the warm days will be with us soon.

And preparing your plot is the perfect way to soak up that sun a little early.

You can find your local WVU Extension office here.