Especially in Nebraska, spring weather can be variable. You might even say “very variable”. Warm and cold, wet and dry and combinations thereof make for a challenging early planting season. With this in mind as an overarching consideration, we still need to start somewhere, with some kind of guidance. A basic planting schedule as the one below is a reasonable guideline for spring planting. Of course, a little adjustment may be necessary, as after all this is Nebraska, and it can snow in early April, or even mid-April without the batting of Mother Nature’s eye.
In addition to the planting date, there’s the consideration of the working of the soil. Veggie seeds don’t stand much chance of growing well if they aren’t well rooted in loose, friable soil. When the soil dries to the touch, so that it’s moist, not soggy or dry, then it’s ready to be loosened. Too much loosening such as roto-tilling heavy duty spading is a problem; a little pitchfork action and working in of a rich compost is all that is necessary in most cases.
Planting Code A – Greatest Tolerance to Frost – earliest reliable planting in the last week of March or first Week of April
Leaf and Head Lettuce
Between A and B
Planting Code B – earliest reliable planting in first or second week of April
Planting Code C – earliest reliable planting in mid April to late April
Planting Code D – earliest reliable planting in late April and early May
Between D and E
Snap and Pole Beans
Planting Code E – earliest reliable planting after May 10th