Is it early? Yes, it is early. Do I worry about a crazy cold snap? Yes, I do worry. But these past several days’ weather have convinced me it’s time to get out and plant, so plant I did.
I didn’t do a ton of planting today–most of this earliest spring cultivation must be done with a small cultivating tool and hands in the soil. It’s still much too wet in most parts of the garden to even think about tilling–but the area I’m planting in is a no-till spot anyhow.
I seeded a couple small beds of spinach, one very short row of peas, and a bed of French fingerling potatoes. I’ve got a few more beds with trellising ready for more peas, and a couple more beds available for greens. Dug out all the red onions that sprouted from the tops of last year’s Italian red bottle onions–little sprouts that I’d poked in between plants in a number of beds. I found 46 in all, and I gave them a new home all their own.
This will be the earliest year I’ve ever done direct-seeding, but when a seed pack says “plant as soon as the ground can be worked,” I take it at its word. The beds were in various states of thaw–some that were still under a layer of mulch were icy, so I pulled back the layer of straw into the aisle, where it can help to supress weeds.
The beds that I’d poked around in a couple weeks ago were quite mellow and warm, so that’s where I did my planting. It actually seemed hot to me working out there in the sun–but I resisted taking off my long-sleeved shirt, knowing how easy it is for tender winter skin to get burned in the ecstacy of spring’s first warmth.
Altogether an incredibly satisfying day, and I’m going to do my best to get out again tomorrow–though I’ve promised to roast carrots and make apple crisp for the VAAC’s St. Patrick’s Day event, so I’ll see how good my time managment skills are. I hear planting peas on St. Patrick’s Day is traditional, but I never thought I’d actually be able to do it. Global warming, indeed.