Despite the snow drifts of such immense proportion this season that they defied measure, spring is only about one week behind last year. As the last of the snow ebbs, tulips, daffodils and crocus waste no time piercing the soil.
Cultivation is another matter. Some of the raised beds which should already be planted are still buried under the last layer of snow and frozen sold. Meanwhile, others are sunning themselves with a fresh coat of organic composted manure. The trick is figuring out the Copernican angle of the sun in combination with the ancient hedge shadows. Still the winter recedes and spring comes steadily on with all of the promise it holds every year at this time.
Gardening is an act of faith. Tiny seeds seem so helpless in the friable soil. Lettuce seedlings even more so with their translucent first true leaves. We had to talk ourselves into removing these seedlings from their greenhouse protection. ‘Bring your jacket and come along,’ we murmur. You love cold weather and can even survive a light frost. [Spring definition: light frost occurs when the temperature drops below freezing, but the ground has warmed and is no longer frozen. Hard freeze occurs when both temperature and ground are frozen.] Hard freeze is pretty much curtains for most vegetables except the hardiest like the Brassicas, which include the super foods like kale, collards & turnips. Tough guys in the garden.
Today we completed tilling and manuring all friable areas of the garden and then planted peas, broad beans [favas to “Silence of the Lambs” lovers] a few rows of turnips, carrots, beets, radishes, green onions. We also planted out some lettuce and mizuna seedlings. Returning indoors for the evening we bid them good luck. But we think they’re on to us. They know we’re hedging our bets and haven’t yet stored the snow blower for the season.