OK, it’s spring and it actually is getting warmer in New Jersey. It’s the time of year when New Jersey gardeners sit around and wonder when, exactly, they should start getting down on their knees and digging.

Days spent inside are getting old, and if you are anything like me you are counting down the days until you can head out to your garden and get the planting party started.

I recently stumbled upon the "Old Farmer’s Almanac," which seems to be a gardening bible of sorts. You can enter your ZIP code into the almanac's website and you are given an idea of when it’s a reasonable time to get back in the garden.

Try it out here.

The Almanac has existed for years, and has a pretty good idea of when the first and last frost will be each year. The growing season usually lasts around 155 days, so the "Old Farmer's Almanac" suggests planting as soon as the freezing weather season is over, which is around May 5.

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash
Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

The Almanac also explains when to plant which items. For example, it suggests you plant corn between May 5 and May 19, and potatoes between April 28 and May 19. These suggestions aren't necessarily the same across New Jersey, but aren’t too drastically different from town to town.

Yes, there are those out there who think the "Old Farmers Almanac" is a bunch of baloney. Just like old wives tales and adages that tell you when to plant based on whether a month has an R in it. However, many rely on the Almanac as a useful tool and swear by it.

Actually, our family garden last year was planned around the Farmer's Almanac, and we had a pretty great season. It’s kind of like extra insurance so that you have the best chance of having healthy plants and to ensure that time and money spent on your garden is worth it.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

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