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      Preparing your garden

      The weekend around Mother's Day tends to get green thumbs excited about fixing up their gardens. This year might be a little different.

      "You ought to consider that things are probably two weeks behind and some of those plants that you would put out, bedding plants, garden seeds, they don't do much until the soils reach a certain temperature," said Jim Isleib, U.P. Crop Production Educator for Michigan State University Extension.

      If you are having trouble waiting to dig into your garden, you might want to follow this quick tip.

      "One thing you can do to help warm the soil up is spread a sheet of plastic over your garden area and leave it on there for about a week, week and a half and that will help bring the temperature up quicker. In fact, that's a good trick any year," said Eric Meister of Meisterâ??s Showplace.

      Some of your plants and trees may have been damaged over the course of the winter if they were exposed above the snow for too long. Other trees may have bark missing because rodents and deer were having trouble finding food sources during the winter. Damage to those trees may be irreversible. With that being said, it's best to assess any damage once we get into the middle of June to see if those plants or trees rebound.

      Looking ahead to Mother's day, there are plenty of sons and daughters that will buy their mothers hanging baskets, but use caution this year.

      â??Your going to have to be careful with it. You're not going to be able to hang it outside on the porch as early as usual this year. It would be an excellent idea to get her a beautiful bouquet of cut flowers," said Isleib.

      There are plenty of green thumbs looking to get outside and tend to their gardens this year, but try and hold off for just a little bit longer. Maybe think about buying mom a box of chocolates for Mother's Day instead of a hanging basket of flowers.

      If you have any questions regarding gardening, call MSU Extensionâ??s toll-free hotline at 1-888-678-3464.