Funny thing about people’s plant buying habits – they tend to buy things when they’re in full bloom. That’s perfectly understandable. But if you want to enjoy the blooms over a longer period of time, you really should consider planting much earlier. And for some of the most colorful harbingers of spring, that means now.
Two significant events occur this month: daylight saving time begins on the 11th; and spring begins on the 20th. That means there’ll be more daylight in the evenings and the days will be getting longer, so we’ll all have more time to garden. Yippee! But what, exactly, should we be planting this month?
Last Sunday I spent six hours in the garden, planting 60 hills of potatoes, 80 leeks, and 120 onions, among other things. Monday morning I had a tough time getting out of bed. But I must say the discomfort I felt was strangely gratifying, because not only did I get a lot of gardening done, I also burned a lot of calories. Just how many calories, you ask?
The other night my son asked me if it was time to plant potatoes. I paused momentarily to soak in the pride I felt knowing that he, along with his younger brother, have made gardening a part of their lives. (I’m sure their sister will do likewise once she moves out of her tiny apartment in Queens, NY.) Then I turned to him and said, “Check the four-inch soil temperature.”
In the past few weeks, I’ve repeatedly heard the claim that the recent snap of cold weather means the bugs won’t be bad this year. The idea of course is that bugs can’t survive prolonged cold temperatures and therefore their populations will be greatly reduced if not eliminated entirely. But does that claim have any basis in fact?
I know. It’s been colder than a well-digger’s foot lately, and for that reason I haven’t spent much time in the garden since the holidays. But I have been thinking a lot about my garden and trying to imagine what changes I want to make once the weather warms up. And thankfully, finally, it looks as though it’s about to do just that.