Why is it that Saturday runs into Sunday runs into Monday so quickly?! This last weekend I decided to lend a deaf ear to all the chores that stack up during the week- how could I not? They were only whispering while the garden was screaming for attention!
My husband Kevin must have said three times, followed by my daughter on a separate occasion, that this was the earliest by at least a month- maybe more, that he has seen the trees budding out. He hopes it isn’t a harbinger of a rough-weathered Nebraska springtime. Usually at this point of the year we can still count on some dodgy weather and at least one more good snowstorm, predictable enough to not get our hopes up too soon. I am prepared to go on record (without even feeling the need to knock on wood), that there will be no additional accumulation to the half-hearted attempts that Jack Frost unfurled this past year. So glad that groundhog is unreliable!
As a result, I have been half tempted to plant straight into the ground (yes, it’s that warm already!) My sensible side nagged me just enough, that instead I turned to my old friend Jiffy, utilizing the bigger tomato pellets to give my plants some room to stretch their legs. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, squash. I have some pretty high expectations and a whole lot of trust in these pellets! I’m currently trying to germinate these babies on top of my refrigerator (it’s warmer up there), and need to figure out a new place to rig up my grow lights in the next week or so.
On Sunday, I put on my work gloves and cleared out my no-longer butterfly garden. Each year my vegetable garden loses a little more precious sunlight as the surrounding neighborhood trees get a bit bigger, stealing all the warm rays. Out of desperation, last year I moved into one of the flower beds that enjoys full sun on the side yard. Who would notice some strategically placed strawberries running along the front border and the beautiful tall asparagus ferns along the back? Clearing off the leaves, I found the rhubarb plant already poking up it’s head. It’s getting a bit out of hand now though, as I am plotting how to sneak in a tomato plant and maybe some okra. I think I will need to move out some Sedum to make room. I hope the butterflies won’t mind.
Sun or not-so-much, Kevin has promised to expand my vegetable patch in the backyard in the next couple of weeks. My raised bed currently occupies a 20’x10′ patch, he will add another 6 feet on each side of it, making it a formidable space. We had our big burr oak trimmed back substantially last fall hoping to open a bigger window. Time will tell.
Yesterday, I took a quick lunch-break from work and visited the local garden center. With my expanded space, I think I am going to try some potatoes for the first time ever. Kennebec maybe? Does anyone have any experience with potatoes? The warmth and potential in the giant greenhouse made it hard to return to work!
You can see in the picture above that the spring bulbs I’ve been tracking for the last couple of weeks continue to get bigger. While I’ve been focusing on these, I almost missed the full-on blooms on the bwrite side of the tree. Isn’t that the wonder of the garden? Happy first day of Spring!