I learned my lesson last year - you must start your garden before Mardi Gras. So that's what I did. I took over a different plot in the community garden. I cleared the weeds, tilled the soil and worked compost into half the garden. I planted spinich, lettuce, parsley and cilatro seeds in that half, and covered the other half in plastic to keep the weeds at bay. This may not sound like it was a lot of work, but trust me, it was. This picture was taken after Mardi Gras on March 3rd and my seeds have sprouted.