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Photo: zoyas2222 (Shutterstock) Occasional warm days in February are a teaser for spring, so we understand if you’re starting to daydream about the garden you’ll plant when it’s closer to summer. But there’s no need to wait—you can get started on some of your spring gardening tasks right now. Mark your calendar The exact dates to plant, harvest, and do other gardening chores will vary according to your local climate. That means you should look up your area’s USDA plant hardiness zone if you don’t know it already. Higher numbers are warmer: Minnesota is zone 3, and the southern tip of Florida is zone 11. Then look up your zone—or, better yet, check with your local university’s cooperative extension —to find out what you can plant when. At the very least, mark your calendar with the date that you can expect the last frost of the season. Many plants shouldn’t be planted outdoors until after the danger of frost has passed. Look up the plants you’d like to grow—the specific varieties, like “Scarlet Nantes,” not just “carrots”—and see how many days they require to germinate and from planting to harvest. Work backwards to figure out what you’ll need to plant when. Take inventory Consider what you’d like to grow this year, and figure out whether you have all the supplies and equipment you’ll need. What seeds and seedlings will you need to buy? Do you need to replace any tools? Rent a rototiller? Stock up on fertilizer and mulch? […]