COLORADO SPRINGS — The rule of thumb on when to start planting your summer garden in Colorado Springs, for years, has been Mother’s Day.

“Mother’s Day or the first of June,” agreed Don Humphrey, owner of Don’s Garden Shop. “I think it’s best to wait until June anymore,” he added.

That seems like good advice since the FOX21 Storm Team is forecasting near-freezing temperatures Friday into Saturday along with, you guessed now, snow!

Cold temperatures and snow in May are not unusual events in Colorado.

“Colorado – for the last four or five years on my memory thing on Facebook shows that we got nasty snow in may for five years back,” Humphrey said.

But since a lot of us went by the Mother’s Day rule – he said we should act now to protect our plants.

“Annuals may die with cold weather, so they need to cover those with something sturdy,” Humphrey said, “My wife uses old quilts.”

But he said to be careful and try to put something sturdy, such as a tomato trellis or something similar, under the fabric, so heavy snow can’t collect on top on the plants and crush them.”

Annual flowers are those with strong season-long color which tend to bloom between spring and autumn and must be replanted each year. Perennials are those that return year after year and bloom on their own.

Perennials should be out, he said. Most will come back – even if they freeze. He said even blackened leaves that drop off should return this season.

“Turn off the sprinkler and drain the backflow preventer on any irrigation center,” Humphrey said. “That’s expensive to fix.”

Any underground seedlings should be fine, he said.

“If they have popped up, then they need to be mulched,” Humphreys advised. “You can put mulch on top of them and you can take it off after.”

Don’t forget your trees and shrubs, he said. If you need to, shake the tree or use a broom to knock the snow off so their limbs don’t break.