A few days of sunshine can make a gardener lose his senses. It has rained in the past weeks; but spring is just around the corner. It is hard to resist working the garden.

Here are a few words of advice: DO NOT DO IT!

Do not be in such a hurry.

First, be sure it is not too wet to plow. If you turn the soil when it is too wet, you will create a lot of hard clods that will take years to get rid of.

That is especially true for our heavier North Georgia clay soils.

So, even though the average last frost dates are getting closer and spring gardening fever is mounting, DO NOT start working the garden soil until you are sure it is ready.

The soil will compact on you.

The implements you use to loosen up the soil will do just the opposite; creating hard-glazed clods that water cannot penetrate. It is almost like making rocks.

It will be very hard to break them up later.

You can tell if your garden soil is dry enough to be worked. Just dig down three or four inches with your hand and squeeze a clod of soil the size of a tennis ball.

Then if you tap it with your finger and it breaks up, it is ready to work.

You can drop it and if it shatters, it is time to begin turning the soil.

If the clod holds together, you had better look at those seed catalogs a little longer before starting this year’s garden.