This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, March 20, 2015

its spring!!

I'm writing this as I'm down in my backyard checking on my garden. I'm pretty disappointed. The bed I turned for my peas with high hopes of planting this weekend is now frozen solid. Its rock hard. I can't get the shovel out of the soil. I would say I'm not feeling real good about shoveling any more snow from my garden. Not when it can freeze up again so fast. I checked the straw bale I was hoping would be a good method for planting early. It feels ice cold inside.

So I'm thinking maybe I can't rush Mother Nature.

garden - first day of spring IMG_0763garden - first day of spring IMG_0760garden - first day of spring IMG_0750 Around the shoveled bed, the snow pack has frozen into an icy mass as we've gotten a lot of rain sinking into it recently. The good news is that it is steadily shrinking. It's shrunk to about 1 ft deep now. I'm surprised it isn't shrinking faster with the rain we've had, but it's not. It's a heavily overcast day today with no sun warming things up. Snowflakes are beginning to drift down now. I think we're getting about an inch tonight.

No crocuses, no daffodils. I don't need to go looking for them, because its obvious there aren't any. I can't even see the hellebore's that were in bloom last December before we got all this snow.

I did see a beautiful female bluebird near my feeder this morning. Her feathers were puffed out and ruffled in the wind. I would have loved a photo but she came and went faster than I could locate my camera. I'm taking the bluebird as my fleeting sign that fairer days will come. But they're not right around the corner I'm afraid.


Blogger Daphne Gould said...

It wasn't a very nice first day of spring gift that Mother Nature gave us this time. I really hope the weather turns around soon, or my garden rotations are going to be all messed up due to the late planting.

March 21, 2015 11:16 AM

Blogger blueberry1946 said...

Take heart, I think your “failed” attempt will eventually yield results that will be satisfying enough. For sure you will learn, and we readers right along with you! Kudos to you for trying something new!

The melt out here in Princeton is slow-go also. But (knock on wood), nothing is getting overwhelmed by too fast a melt!

March 21, 2015 1:15 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Why would it mess up your rotations?

March 21, 2015 1:25 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Definitely not too fast, Princeton. Same here!

March 21, 2015 9:39 PM

Blogger Daphne Gould said...

Because if one crop doesn't get out in time, I won't have time for the next crop. Often a spring crop of carrots once it is picked will become a fall crop of cabbage.

March 22, 2015 8:33 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Ah ha. I hope we have time for a full season. A short will mess up a bunch of things in the garden I think.

A late spring could mean no (or few) peas, lettuce, spinach, fava beans if it get hot on time. Small onions, as these bulb with the sun. I suppose we'd still be able to plant the usual beans and fall crops after these. And it'd mean late carrots as Daphne said, and beets too, bok choy, spring cabbage which affects what can go in after. If my celeriac and sweet potatoes are late to go in they'll be small. If garlic are snow covered til May, I bet they'll be small, I think they ripen by the sun, so like onions, they won't be late just small. And potatoes that go in late will finish late, risking the summer diseases like late blight and flea beetles which will cause smaller potatoes. With tomatoes, squashes, cukes shorter harvest with shorter season.

Oh well. The weather could completely turn around in a month. A nice thought.

March 22, 2015 9:49 AM

Anonymous Connie Murray said...

The snow this year has been epic. I am really starting to hate epics!

March 22, 2015 10:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, my soil experiment continues...the greenhouse plastic covered elevated beds have completely defrosted, compost has been added and are ready to go. However, with the freezing temps we've been having, I'm going to hold off another week or so before attempting to plant carrots, beets and lettuces. I might start putting the cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower out under the greenhouse covers during the warmest part of the day to start acclimatizing. If the temps get up around 50 degrees, even the tomato seedlings may see a little sun.
The raised bed with black plastic have about 2 inches of defrosted soil. The straw covered beds are still totally frozen. Deb S.

March 22, 2015 3:15 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Are you planting seed? If your soil is thawed I wouldn't worry too much about just a couple days of cold. The seeds will get going when they can. You just don't wan the seed to rot in mud if the soil isn't thawed.

And hardening off the seedlings sounds good. I'm just planting planting my tomatoes now.

I am now leery of thawed soil this spring after having mine completely thawed and then completely freeze up. Today my soil has thawed again in the full sun despite cold temps.

March 22, 2015 5:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm planting seed...or I should say, I have now planted some seed outside! The greenhouse plastic covers really do help extend my growing season as long as we don't get down into the teens for an extended period.

The seedlings are also enjoying the opportunity to get out of the basement to catch an hour of sun each day.

What color Durango Marigold did you plant? I checked them out online and they all look very pretty, I may have to go and find a packet to supplement the Alumia Vanilla Cream and Tiger Eyes that I picked up this year. So many little space! Deb S.

March 25, 2015 1:05 PM


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