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Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Spring planting tips from a gardening meteorologist

The vernal equinox is still more than a week away, but now’s the time for gardening aficionados to spring into action, so to speak. According to Capital Weather Gang’s gardening meteorologist David Streit, soil temps have officially hit the 40-degree mark — not exactly flip flop weather, but apparently the prime time to plant some seeds and watch them bloom.

Streit recommends planting cool season vegetables like lettuces, perfect bases for dishes like this butter lettuce and arugula salad. Check out the Post’s Recipe Finder for more veggie ideas.

If gardening isn’t really your idea of fun, don’t fret — there are plenty of other ways to take advantage of the sunny, 60-degree days in the forecast.

The Persian New Year, or Nowruz, coincides with the first day of spring. Celebrate early with live performances, dancing and games at the Freer Gallery of Art this Sunday. Another cultural must-see, the National Cherry Blossom Festival , kicks off March 26.

Going out Guide's Spring Arts Preview has best bets for this spring in dance, pop music, museums and more.

And don’t forget to check out our "signs of spring"photo gallery to see what Post reporters have spotted and add your own springtime pics.

Share your gardening tips and other springtime activity suggestions in the comments below.

By  |  11:17 AM ET, 03/11/2011

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