Resisting the urge.

The crocus are popping up all over!

We are having a stretch of amazing weather. It’s been warm, actually very warm (yesterday it reached 64 degrees F!) and it’s been sunny for over a week. The raised beds are dry enough to work in, which isn’t surprising since we have had the driest March in 150 years of record-keeping! The crocuses are popping up in groups now.

The “Vernal Jewels” crocus is various shades of purple, lavender, bright yellow and white are joining the “Cream Beauty.”

The various crocus have been joined by the dwarf iris reticulata in the Blue Garden

Finally, some color in the Blue Garden.

The winter aconites under the elder are beginning to appear. There are birds singing and the grass is growing. The urge to get planting is strong. Very strong.

Winter aconite

Last year’s garden journal reports that on March 9th peas, lettuce, radish, potatoes, kohlrabi and pak choi were all planted in the potager. It was exciting and visions of early harvests danced in my head! I wrote of global warming, and that planting earlier than “normal” seemed justified in those “not normal Covid times.” Even though I knew those first crops traditionally went into the ground with the first DAFFODIL, not the first crocus, I succumbed to the siren of early spring planting.

You may recall how that turned out. The weather turned. We had our usual cold, wet April and unusual freezes in mid-May. The pea vines all turned to mush and had to be clipped off. The lettuces froze and withered. The potatoes turned black and took ages to recover. The kohlrabi and pak choi were so stressed that later plantings of both were actually harvested first. The radishes just refused to appear at all in such inhospitable conditions.

So, all day I resisted that urge to plant. I’m an experienced gardener. I know that patience is the key to success. I re-organized the “Direct Seeding” box, drooling over all the luscious lettuce varieties, picturing the “Green Arrow” peas climbing the pea fences, admiring the scarlet skins of radishes shown on packet fronts. “There are lots of seeds left from last year that could be put in the ground as a test,” my mind offered. I put the seed box down and made a cup of tea. “The berry box over the carrots and leeks is available, if the weather should turn,” it argued. I went through the pretty seed packets again. “What’s life without a little risk?” it whispered, as I wandered up and down the potager’s rows of empty beds this morning. “Just one box. Just one. Please?” the mind begged, the fingers itching.

It seems my mind has made up its mind. I’m planting!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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12 Responses to Resisting the urge.

  1. Rose East says:

    Glad to know it’s not just me that’s having to resist the urge to plant. I’ve been feeling really behind because we haven’t even really gotten the garden fully cleaned up or anything and haven’t finished prepping our planting spaces.


    • carolee says:

      I’m feeling behind, too, but actually I’m not according to past journals. I did clean up and tidy the Front Garden yesterday, because our mail lady actually came to the door with a birthday package for my husband, and may be coming again. Since our children can’t come to visit, they will probably send gifts instead. Now all the spring flowers can shine, without the embarrassing dead twigs, stems and leaves of last year. And, I realized how very out of shape I am!


  2. We had that dreadful multi-day deep freeze here in North Texas. Now we’re back to our usual windy warm front / cold snap pattern. Today’s high is forecast at 77 and our peach trees have flower buds.
    But we’re holding our breath, waiting for the potential “second winter” to wreak its havoc. I’ll probably plant some hardier things soon, and wait a few more weeks to put any tender plants in.


  3. I loved this. Beautifully written and so apt. Can’t be a gardener anywhere not experiencing that siren call.


  4. Resistance was futile! Plan B is good too … but did you plant last year’s leftovers or something new?


  5. stcoemgen says:

    Similar here. Over the pond. On another continent.
    Most of my radish perished in a late March cold snap. From my year 2020 notes, we had very warm weather all month, then suddenly one day did not get above freezing with over night temperatures quite severe. We even had snow. And 24 hours of below freezing at such low temps is not good for radish. I had fleece over them, but it was a thin layer. This year I doubled up on the fleece and it seems to help. I may post about that soon at my blog.


  6. Achies says:

    You crocuses are looking beautiful.


  7. Heather F. says:

    This was so delightful. Good luck!


  8. Tracey says:

    So lovely to see the Spring flowers. My daffodils are already out here in the middle of England but now we’re being battered by gales and rain.


  9. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I am struggling with the same urge – and like you have succumbed! I have some seeds sown on the heated bench and just hope it is nice enough to put them out before they go leggy. But I have kept some seeds back to re-sow if needs be – just in case.


  10. Ailbu says:

    Haha, I also have that urge! We planted beans before the 1st of April one year, our neighbour warned us this was an unwise thing to do, and predictably the plants withered and died. I know how you are feeling; I have been looking longingly at all my seed packets too. I am counting down the days. Happy sowing!


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