Don't let that last hint of winter fool you: as far as we're concerned, spring is here.
If you're the kind of gardener who waits for stories about "planting season" or big sales at the garden center to start work, you're already falling behind.
Even before your yard is ready for new plants, you should be seed starting indoors. Then, mature plants can be moved into your garden when they're ready.
If you haven't tried seed starting your garden plants before, it can sound intimidating. But the extra work will actually save you time and money in the long run.
First of all, buying seed packets from your garden center is cheaper than mature plants, and there are usually more varieties available too.
While you'll need to invest in some extra equipment - like grow lights, indoor seeding soil, and seed planters - they will pay for themselves over time.
If you live in a part of the country with a short growing window, seed starting really pays of. You can squeeze in more crops of vegetables, or enjoy more time with lovely flowers.
But seed starting will also take up space inside your home. Although, a compact planter and light setup can fit easily in a garage, spare room, or your kitchen.
If you're ready to try seed starting for yourself, we have some helpful tips to get started.
After buying the necessary equipment, the first thing to do is organize your seeds for this year.
While some plants really benefit from the early start, others won't.
As a rule, annual flowers should be planted outdoors, while perennial flowers can start inside.
Most vegetables grown for your kitchen table, including corn, beans, carrots, and lettuce, won't benefit much from the early start.
Meanwhile, growing leeks, pepper plant, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, melons and cucumbers can begin indoors.
The key is to find the right time to start planting, which is different depending on where you live.
Ask an expert at your local garden center when the spring frost date is expected, then follow any directions on your seed packet before it comes.
As an example, you can start growing leeks months in advance, while cucumbers need much less time.
When in doubt, ask a friendly gardener for suggestions, or trust in expert advice.
Will you be seed starting this year?
[H/T: Fine Gardening, Gardening.com]