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 various crocus have been joined by the dwarf iris reticulata 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.
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!