Saturday, March 24, 2018

Gardeners' Holidays 2018: First Sowing

It appears to have become a tradition around here to celebrate the official first day of spring with a snowstorm. In 2015, I stubbornly went out and sowed my snap peas in a light snowfall that later accumulated to about four inches; in 2016, I did the same with only a paltry inch of snow in the forecast; and last year I had to give in and postpone the planting because there was already a couple of inches on the ground. And this year, our spring Gardeners' Holiday had to be postponed on account of this:

While that's a lot of snow for what's supposed to be springtime, it could have been a lot worse. The forecast was originally calling for eight to eleven inches of heavy snow that could take out trees and power lines; instead we got about seven inches of fairly light, fluffy snow that was fairly easy to shovel. It was already starting to melt the day after it fell, and by the weekend, nearly all of it was gone.

That freed us up to plant our peas today, right on schedule. But before we could put them into the ground, we had to prep the beds, which were full of a lot of weeds and debris left over from last year's crops.

We cleared all that out as best we could, then I worked on clearing away the worst of the weeds from the path area while Brian opened up our new compost bin and extracted several buckets full of nice, dark compost.

After dumping those out onto the beds and raking it out smooth, we were ready to start planting the peas. Fortunately the bed we're putting them in this year is the left front one, which gets more early sun than the others, so the dirt in it was fully thawed. Rather than fuss around digging a trench, Brian just out all the peas in a neat little row, two inches apart, and then pushed them down into the dirt up to the depth of his first knuckle.

Before these plants grow tall enough to latch onto the trellis, we'll need to make some repairs to the bottom part of it. Apparently we didn't leave quite enough extra at the bottom when we attached the netting after rebuilding the garden beds last year, so some of the strings have worked themselves loose (as you can sort of see in the photo). But these peas will take a while to come up, so we have plenty of time to deal with it.

And now that this chore is all taken care of, we can go out for a little walk and enjoy the spring weather...before it snows again tomorrow.
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