Friday, March 8, 2013

Time to Think Garden

Spring is taking its time arriving this year, and that's all right with me. Even the coltsfoot has yet to bloom. This early arriver is usually showing yellow blossoms in mid to late February but I haven't spotted it yet. The silver maples in the yard are trying to bud and so is the bridal wreath spirea, but so far no flowers, no daffodils and no crocus. This weekend is forecast to be warmer and sunny however, so I am expecting a burst of early Spring in the next few days, including the song of the little frogs we call peepers. (For Spring things to look for, check out this earlier post I wrote on the topic.)

I am finally thinking garden thoughts. I'm late on that too, perhaps because the weather has been fittin', as my older friends might say. It's hard to think about planting when the ground is so soggy you can lose a shoe in it, or when it's covered by snow and the wind is howling. Usually by this time I have lettuce, onions, peas, radishes and beets in the ground. This year, the garden is still as wet as can be. Larry has pruned the grapes and some other fruits so that job at least is out of the way.

(The photo below is from early May last year with the spring garden in full tilt. Ah me, wasn't it lovely?)

But this weekend, it looks like we'll get some drying out time, and I think the lettuce bed might be possible, along with a few radish seeds and onion sets.Once again we are looking to plant what we will eat and eat in season as much as possible. Potatoes are, sadly, on the do-not-plant list--or if we do, it will be a short row for new potatoes only. The Colorado Potato Beetle is so bad now that the bugs are literally waiting for the plants to come up. The only remedy for the terrible infestation of them is to use very heavy, expensive pesticides--and if I'm going to do that, I might as well buy my potatoes. We're considering planting late to see if we can perhaps avoid the beetles that way. But the last two years have been such a battle that I think we need to just leave potatoes alone for a while. We don't eat many anyway--50 pounds would last us a year because with a diabetic in the house, potatoes are on the special treat menu. Which is okay with me, since I don't need those carb calories either.

Are you planning any gardening this weekend? Or are you still covered up in snow and winter?

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


warren said...

I am coming up to figure out a new garden location and a sorghum location I think. I need to plow and somehow amend the clay into some form that will grow plants. That should be interesting! I hope to have a bean garden, a tater garden and a sorghum garden. Other than that, I think we will plant stuff in buckets here in town...either way, I can't wait to get going!

Granny Sue said...

Warren, Larry is planning to get some goat manure from a neighbor. Maybe the two of you could haul a few loads together when the weather dries up. Also, consider using mulch--old hay if you can find it is good--up on the hill for your gardens. The soil here has a lot of sand in it (hence Sandyville!), losing moisture quickly. The good drainage is nice though, better than heavy clay. The sorghum loves dry sandy conditions so it did well on the hill. It doesn't make as good syrup if grown in bottom ground.

warren said...

Sounds good to me! WHo on the hill has goats? ;-) When is he planning to get it? It may take awhile to dry out!

I think we are coming up on Sunday...Saturday looks to be a work-around-here day

Granny Sue said...

This is from Robert's goats--the manure is still there but it has to be dry to get to it. Probably later this month it will be okay. I'll let you know.

Sue said...

My son is quite the gardener. We just returned from visiting his home in Southern California, and he fed us from his garden every day.


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