My frost free date is May 1 but I cannot wait so long to garden and we need to be outside, feeling the sun and the wind, and on some days, the rain, on our skin. So our first little cheat was March 2, a full 2 months before these seeds were supposed to hit the earth. We created a little bed of lettuce surrounded by bricks and covered in a salvaged piece of plexiglass. I checked today and the seeds have germinated even though our nights are in the teens and 20s and daytime temperatures in the 40s.
Our second cheat was on March 3. We chopped the bottoms from milk containers and used them to make bean houses. We planed 4 seeds in a 2" square at the base of each pole and then pushed the container into the soil and mounded soil around the sides. Today I noticed the first beans breaking through the soil.