If you are anything like me you are probably anxiously watching the ever-incorrect weather reports to determine if it is safe to start planting yet. There are lots of guidelines people seem to go by to declare open season in the garden. Some are a bit more reliable than others, but my favorite is based on the wives tale above. Back in the day, before there were reliable means to measure the temperature of the soil, feeling the bare soil with tender flesh was a great way to find out if it was warm enough. I suppose seeing the gardener in this precarious position in your parsley patch didn’t go over very well so a more politically correct version of the soil test was developed – stick your elbow in the soil instead.
The best thing to do, as hard as it is, is wait until the last chance of frost has passed, unless you have the ability to cover tender plants overnight.