Vegetable starts in the midwest???

Munster, IN(Zone 5b)

It's still winter - last week the ground was frozen at least 2 mornings- even in my cold frame - sure there's lots of sun and then it thaws but the soil isn't workable yet. I am feeling pressured to get some of the early cool vegetables started. This year I wasn't able to sow indoors, so planned to use milk jugs and cold frame to start those that need warm starts and to direct sow by now surely for the rest: lettuce peas and beets. My worry is that when this unusual cold spell ends that it will get warm very fast. What do the rest of you in zone 5 plan on doing, or have you done? Have any of you dealt with these conditions in the past? I have only been seriously vegetable gardening since '07.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

The last 3 years we've had snow and frozen ground on April 1. I've given up on my old ideas about peas and spinach started St Patrick's Day. They always just sit until mid-April no matter what. I start my WS -Spring Sowing really- April 1. I use 4" pots in plastic tubs, holes punched top and bottom with a soldering iron. So far I've only done lettuce and cool weather herbs this way, but this year I plan to do beets and peas as well.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Average last frost date here is April 28, old-timers use May 10. I have seen light snow/frost as late as May 20-22. We are having a late spring after a dry winter here, too. My tomotoes had to be put in pots instead of in the ground, and have been hogging all the space under the lights, so some other things never got started. We are going to have water rationing here because of 2 dry winters, combined with the late spring, I think I will plant less this year. I will use the time and space to give some of my beds a "do over". Even my cold weather veggies don't get planted before spring solstice, I figure nothing likes to grow in the dark.

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