So I went out and planted a row of spinach seeds and a row of carrot seeds. We've been having lots of spring like weather, with some rain yesterday and more due later today so I decided why not? We have a light freeze (31) forecast for the end of the month. After that, it is relatively rare to get much freezes after the first week in Feb (it does happen, our av last frost date isn't until mid Mar, but maybe not so much in these global warming times). All these winter seeds say "as soon as the ground can be worked." My ground could have been worked any time, it never froze.
Right now the soil is beautiful - I can just push the shovel all the way down into it and it is soft and crumbly and loose all the way down and just slightly damp. Even when I dig down into the native soil, below everything I added to the the raised beds (I can tell because it is redder and a little more clay-ey) it is still soft and crumbly.
Spring comes fast in the south! We barely had winter, just a few days of wintery weather here and there.