Monday, April 6, 2020


I go through this same kind of mind game every single year.  It happens when I start reading blogs where people are preparing their garden for planting, getting seeds in the ground and setting out their first started plants.  Their perennial flowers have been blooming for weeks and song birds have returned to their spring/summer quarters.  How's my garden progressing?

These are the raised beds at the far south end of the garden.  Do they look ready for planting?  Not quite.

This is a shot of the ground immediately outside our back door.  (The tire tracks are from the garden cart that was used to haul boxes of my seasonal decorations from the back storage shed.  I simply could not tolerate the winter decorations one more day and had to replace them with my spring ones.)  At least the terrible ice is gone from this area.

Oh, much of our snow has melted, no question about that.  There are lots of clear spots in our back yard and on our driveway.  At least where the sun can peek through the trees to hit the ground. 

Here's our asparagus bed which will give us our first-of-the-season taste of luscious, green spears which will poke up through the soil.  But first I need to get out there to clean up the old dead ferns and debris, fertilize with some good compost and rake more soil up onto the rows.  Gotta keep those wonderful aspergrass (as my grandpa used to say) plants happy.  But even this won't happen until the ground thaws a bit more and dries out a lot more.

These are my three rows of strawberry plants that go from the snow covered bottom of the picture all the way to the end of the snow you can see.  (Yoo-hoo, anybody under there?)  My question is why is that patch in the middle free of snow?  I'll have to ask Papa Pea (aka Mr. Science) for an explanation of that.

Question:  Why-oh-why didn't I start my inside seeds earlier this year?

Answer:  Well, dum-dum, if you had they would be leggy, pale and totally lacking in vigor by the time the weather was warm enough to set them out.

Question:  Will I ever be able to have a long enough growing season for my garden to mature?

Answer:  Yep.  There have been very few years when you haven't managed to get a good crop of most everything planted.  Except for those full-sized tomatoes.  And eggplant.  And corn.  And . . . )

Question:  Why can't I be out in my garden right now prepping the soil and planting my cool weather crops like others are?

Answer:  Because you're still getting freezing temperatures at night and you'd have to dig through the snow to plant those seeds that would not be happy and would lose their will to actually live and grow.

Bottom line:  Patience is a virtue which I must find and hang on to this time of year.

In the meantime, I do have some seeds started under lights.  Just look at these robust, little (understatement) guys who will be ready to go out into the garden and sunshine in a mere 8 weeks.  Or possibly 10.  Or so.


Goatldi said...

MP. Don’t get by our BGP in a knot. You are not alone. I type from my couch next to the blazing wood stove and yesterday’s 2.5 inches of rain. Amazing winds and at 9:00pm when I took Ari and Calli out for a potty before bed. We found the rain coming down in solid sheets so hard the gutters couldn’t get drained out as it should have and we had a waterfall over my porch steps . All of us were soaked by the time we got back in. So much for Spring in the mountains of Central California. And yes the surrounding mountains had fresh snow.

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - At least the powers-that-be haven't figured out how to control the weather yet. Oh, wait. Maybe they ARE controlling the weather. :o\ Two point five inches of rain would have been 25" of snow for us. Gulp. Guess your soil would be a little too wet for planting today, huh? Heck, your porch steps are probably still soaked!

wisps of words said...

I don't grow food, and even _I_ am a wee bit *jealous* of all those bluebells and etc., growing in the U.K. So your impatience is fully logical.

And that is about as much help, as I can be, to you. LOLLLLLL

Stay calm

wisps of words said...

Ohhhhhhh, new Header pic!!!!

Melting ice!!!!

Seee I noticed. I'm not much help, with commenting. But I did notice your new Header.

Stay calm

Sparkless said...

I just started some seeds too but not sure if they will grow because they were just old seeds I found and they have been laying around for a couple of years. Plus we need to get some more potting soil or something to grow more in cause now we are out and I've hardly planted any seeds. But who wants to go out to a store right now unless you really have to. I may venture out later this week if I'm feeling brave.

tpals said...

I'm sure there are benefits for those of us in the northern states; if I could just think of one now.

Enjoy your last weeks before you're too busy to think. :)

SmartAlex said...

Our weather has been really nice, but we still had a hard frost Sunday night and are expecting wet snow on Friday. So I walk around my sleepy garden muttering "grow dammit" when the seeds all know better.

Cockeyed Jo said...

I feel your pain. Normally we wouldn't plant our garden until after May 1st. Because the weather has been so warm (almost 80) we decided to plant early.Normally we'd get snow or a hard freeze around Easter but this year we're chancing it.

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - No "help" required! Just happy to get your comment as always.

Sparkless - This may be a good year to resurrect your little garden in your yard. Every little thing you can grow will be tasty and good for you!

tpals - I've often thought that I'm glad we northerners have as long a period as we do that is "off" from gardening and other outside chores. At the same time, I'm afraid I'll get weak and soft from the time off, though, rather than rested and rejuvenated!

SmartAlex - Well, that's just it. So early in the season we sometimes get a little bit over-eager. Then Mother Nature shows us who's boss and we have to take two steps backward. But, oh, the temptation to get that jump start!!

Cockeyed Jo - With temps in the 80s it's very, very hard not to chance it. You may even win some years! ;o)

Granny Sue said...

I understand! When my NC/TN friends post photos of their gardens in March, I get so antsy! But all will come in due time. Patience is not a virtue I possess, though.

Sam I Am...... said...

Any minute now! Really!!! I have my tomatoes planted in little pots and outside as there are no freezing temps will be 88! Come summertime I will be envious of you as I won't be able to stand the heat and humidity here. Spring is the only decent season here! LOL!

Katie C. said...

I am so frustrated! Our community garden plot is on park land and they closed it!!! My guy has started the tomatoes and peppers already. If things don’t open up, I’m not sure where we will be planting them.. I need those tomatoes for canning.

Mama Pea said...

Granny Sue - I often wonder what it is with us gardeners and our need to get out there in the dirt way before it's sensible. Something about seeing things grow that you have made possible. And the anticipation of those veggies eventually appearing on our tables!

Sam I Am - I think I tend to forget gardening back in Illinois when I had to MAKE myself go out to pick a basket of tomatoes. The heat and humidity was so bad I had to return to the house and sit in front of a fan (no AC) before I was able to get up and start the processing. Those thoughts make me glad I have to grow some things under a cold frame all season long because of our "coolness" up here in Minnesota!

Katie C. - Eeeek. Such a disappointment. Do you have any spot in your yard you could get tilled up to use this year? Large pots (even a galvanized watering trough) are always an option but it sounds like you've got more plants than containers would contain. How frustrating for you.

The Happy Whisk said...

This will be our first year making raised beds. That's the plan. We have more lot to dig out, take down some dead trees and that fun stuff. And it really is so fun. Happy Gardening.

Mama Pea said...

The Happy Whisk - I think you'll be happy with your raised beds. They are always ready for planting before my "field" garden areas. Plus I find I can plant super-closely in the raised beds which almost eliminates the weeds growing! Can't beat that, can you? As the trees grow taller around our gardening area, we end up taking down more of them which always makes me sad, but we use the wood for heating plus the sunshine is important to make the crops grow. Happy gardening back to you, too!