Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crossing My Fingers - Early Spring Planting

It's been warm this week - seventy degrees yesterday and today. But it's February, and that means fickle weather at a mile high. We could stay mild, freezing at night, until May, but likely we'll get a spring snow. We hope. It's been so dry... but the long range forecast (by a local weather guy) suggests warmer and dryer than usual for March. Since I get itchy and depressed when it's spring-like and I'm not in the garden, I push my luck and plant early.

I have finally learned after years in this climate that even a Wall of Water won't keep tomatoes happy. My first garden here I actually put in tomatoes in March. Since our last average frost date is Mother's Day, well, you know that didn't go well. And then I tried it again a few years later.

This year I'm sticking to cool season plants. I turned a bed yesterday, dumping some poor unsuspecting and very sleepy earthworms into the sun (and then burying them again of course). The soil is very much "workable" so I planted carrots, beets, peas, chard, and mache. And I put in rhubarb plants! My back hurts and I'm tired, but oh, am I happy. I hope that if it does snow, it will be a nice warm blanket of moisture for my baby plants, and that they will be warm enough in the cool night soil to germinate.

I'm reminded how gardening is such a balm for my heart, mind, and soul. I've spent so much time writing about this phenomenon of the healing, spiritual garden, that I have gotten rather in my head. Getting dirt under my nails and teaching my daughter about the garden returns me to myself. And here I am writing about it - but I'm not going to analyze it, just enjoy the afterglow of a day in the dirt.

Happy planting!

No comments: