KITCHENER -- After a week of warm weather and sunshine in the region, many people will be looking toward the gardening season.

Growing season starts when the temperature is consistently warm through the night, something that won't happen until mid-May.

But there are things you can do now to get a jump-start on the season.

The Oakey family is prepared to start planting earlier than usual.

"We don't usually start the seedlings until the second week of April, but we did this year just because we've been home and they wanted something to do," says Katrina Oakey.

She says the experience offers her kids the chance to watch food grow and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Terry Nauman is also getting his plants ready for spring.

"It's a good process to take them out on warm days and getting them used to the outdoors for a while, and then bringing them in at night," he explains.

Things like lettuce, spinach and cabbage are prime early starters because they're cool season crops.

That's in contrast to hot season crops like tomatoes and peppers, which Nauman says he won't start putting outside until as late as June.

If you're preparing your yard for spring, find another place for your yard waste: the Region of Waterloo announced last month that it would not be postponing curbside pickup of yard waste until further notice.

"If we don't have to pile up extra garbage and extra work for the men and women at the curb, we're really encouraging people not to," says Cari Rastas Howard with Region of Waterloo Waste Management.

Although the region has increased garbage limits from four to six bags, Howard says that yard waste should not be put in black bags instead.

She says people should try to store it on their property for now, keeping it dry and contained as much as possible.

She admits it's not an ideal situation to have the waste sitting around, but says the region is working hard to come up with a solution.