I’m anxious to start planting, but at the mercy of the weather. I can’t plant until the soil is dry enough to work.  Now it’s still too muddy, thanks to our March snows.  So I’m waiting.

I checked our records for the last seven years.  Twice during that time I planted in the first week of March.  Twice, including last year, I wasn’t able to plant until the second week of April.  That’s just the way it goes here.  I’m still hoping the ground will dry up enough to let me start soon.  But we’ll see.   It was in the 20’s much of yesterday, so that doesn’t help.

Once the window of opportunity opens I’m going to be a busy boy.  I’ll be planting five gardens as soon as I’m able–peas, spring lettuces, spring brassicas, spring root crops and Irish potatoes.  For each of them that means first harrowing with a jitterbug, then roto-tilling, then spreading compost, then roto-tilling again, then shaping the rows. That’s four implement changes, plus a lot of work with a shovel, before I even start putting in seeds.

For some of the crops I’ll make furrows and drop seed.  For those with tiny seeds, I’ll crawl or stoop down the rows putting in the seeds.  I have an Earthway seeder but I prefer to plant by hand if time permits.  The Irish potatoes (excepting the fingerlings) will need to be cut first, then planted and hilled (by hand).  Of course a lot of the brassicas and lettuces will go in as transplants, as will this year’s onions.  And I have blueberry bushes arriving any day that also will need immediate planting and tending.  And everything will need irrigation once planted.

The plan is to plant spinach, two varieties of onions, sugar snap peas, collards, English peas, radishes, komatsuna, Tokyo Bekana, Sugar Ann peas, bok choy, Chinese cabbages (several varieties), mizuna, turnip greens, mustard greens, several types of kale, Maruba Santoh, several types of cabbages, carrots, several types of lettuce, kolhrabi, broccoli, senposai, arugula, Yukina savoy, two types of Swiss chard, beets, collards, and four types of potatoes (plus other things I’ve probably forgotten).

Meanwhile we’re still seeding eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.  And I’m not done inoculating oak logs with mushroom spawn.  And I still have a few more roosters to process. And there are otters in the pond.  And more firewood to cut.  And the asparagus will be coming in soon and need weeding.  And all the other gardens need to be prepped for cover crops.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so anxious for winter to end.


8 comments on “Waiting…

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, your Spring sounds like mine. It comes with a never ending list of priority things to accomplish. I’ve decided that after five years my back yard raised beds need some rejuvenating. Yesterday, I chopped out the half frozen soil with a pick axe and used the soil that was thawed to mix with some soil amendments, some peat, and compost in the tumbler drum. The soil mixture was then put back into the raised bed. Yeah, I know, I just couldn’t make it through another 60 degree Nebraska top 10 day without getting my hands in the dirt some how. It should help to warm up the soil a little faster as well.

    Today, I’m going to make an attempt to finish up a couple of the rain gutter growing systems that will set a foot above the raised bed. The gutter growing system is experimental for this year and will be growing tomatoes and green peppers in five gallon buckets. It’s supposed to be a self watering system so we shall see how it all works out. In my mind it looks awesome but I have discovered that what looks great in my mind some times is not so great in the real world.

    Have a great garden preparation day.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks Dave. The urge to get in the dirt is very powerful this time of year. Sounds like you’ve got some great projects underway. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do.

      It’s been cold here, but windy. That’s drying the ground out faster than I would have supposed. I’ve just come in from tilling our lettuce garden and may even be able to begin planting today.


  2. Bob Braxton says:

    2013.11.25 Mon twi-lit
    sowing seed

    and harrow
    work arrow

    © 2013 RobertJulianBraxton

    2014.03.14 Fri
    drop seed


  3. El Guapo says:

    Do you get anytime to savor the new season, or just go straight into the planting?


  4. shoreacres says:

    Put that calendar and chronometer in the drawer, and pull out your kairometer. Planting time will come – but in its own time.

    In the meantime, how about this, from Coco Chanel? “There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.”


    • Bill says:

      That’s a wonderful quote. I love it.

      It seems the time for planting is going to come sooner than I expected. To my surprise I found the garden we have reserved for spring lettuce ready to till. I spent most of the day prepping it and may plant it as soon as tomorrow. Let the season begin!


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