After composting for the past year, I couldn't wait to get the garden going. So as storms rolled in overhead I got the first of the cold weather plants in the ground today -- radishes, onions, etc.
The old adage is to wait until Mothers' Day -- mine is that I've been going insane trapped inside looking at six feet of snow, I can only play guitar so many hours a day and I'm ready to go. The cats seem to agree. These bulb plants that do most of their growing underground will be fine even if it does frost again. They're great Chicagoland plants -- hearty and ready for whatever the sky brings.
This will be my third annual garden, but the first time I'm planning multiple rounds of these early plants. Radishes grow like superstars -- you could probably get a new crop every month if you wanted... But, go figure, they're one of the least popular garden vegetables for snacking (I'll eat them raw, though, since I'm usually too impatient to make a salad).
I saved money on new dirt by starting my own organic compost pile -- a year seemed to be sufficient to break it all down -- but still threw some mushroom compost and a couple bags of topsoil with peat moss on top. Because it's all about the dirt. (And considering the large percentage of coffee grounds in that compost, I should have some pretty wired worms working under there.)
I'm gonna go stretch now. And continue playing guitar.