It is actually a pretty nice day out, despite the fact that it looks dreary. For one, it isn't snowing. It's 60 degrees and the sun peaks out now and then. The sowing instructions for Garden Peas are: plant in early spring as soon as soil can be worked. Well, people without raised beds are out of luck. There is no way anyone will be getting out there with a tiller this early. But the raised beds are ready to go and the first peas and carrots are in. I will plant another batch in two weeks.
Different climates have different markers for when to plant peas. In some areas of the country (and sometimes here if you're lucky) the date is St. Patrick's Day. Here it is usually Good Friday. Some people are skeptical about that since Good Friday can vary so much from mid-March to late April. But it is always the first Friday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. And many farmers and gardeners plant and breed livestock by the moon cycles. So, weather permitting, I always plant my first peas by Good Friday. Another good marker is waiting until the forsythia bloom. But my peas are always sprouted by the time the forsythia even start to bud.
My favorite pea varieties are Wando and Maestro. Wando, however, is a very tall pea topping out over 6 feet high, My pea fence is less than 4 feet high, and that poses a problem because when the vines outgrow the fence, the wind blows them over at a right angle. This makes it nearly impossible to pick the second shorter row because the neighboring vines are laying on top of the pickable peas. So I purchased the Extra Tall Pea Fence from Gardeners.com and I think it will be tall enough to support the taller varieties. This year I finally got the bright idea that instead of planting one bed with a row of shorter Maestro next to a taller Wando and then at a later date, planting a second bed just like it, I should plant a row of Wando in one bed, and the Maestro in the other and then two weeks later, plant a second row of Wando next to the Wando... duh right? It's the simple things that escape me.
Last fall I planted a lot of daffodils, woods hyacinths and crocuses to brighten my garden and I am anxiously awaiting them. The older established bulbs have been ready to bloom for two weeks and today they are finally brave enough to open just a wee bit.
After planting the peas I went around with a bucket and began picking up all the old leaves and dead foliage that collected under the snow after we gave up leaf blowing last fall. Most of them are oak leaves, and most of them collect in the corners, but after the corners were cleaned up I started on the walks just to get everything looking ship shape. Until I came across a leaf that was surprisingly heavy and squishy.
Closer inspection revealed that it was not a faded leaf at all but a very grumpy brown frog.
Besides peas and crocuses and leaves, my eggplants are up about an inch and doing well and I am on my way down to plant three different varieties of bell peppers along side of them. I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my strawberry plants and the sprouting of asparagus.
Let Spring Begin!