March 24, 2011
Spring garden chores
Photo by Jessica Walliser
The onset of spring means it’s time to plant my cool-season crops.

Spring has officially arrived, and I couldn’t be happier. The perennials have begun to pop, the bulbs have been pushing up their green sprigs, the grass is starting to turn it’s luscious spring green, the mud is starting to dry out, the crocus are about to bloom, and all the seedlings growing under the lights in the basement are ready for transplanting. Even the air smells fresher and feels full of life. I saw the first Honey bee of the year a few days ago, and that always makes me feel as if all is right with the world even when it’s not.

Garden chores for the coming days include planting my cool-season crops. Broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, carrots, onions and peas are ready to get tucked into the soil. Thankfully it has been dry for the past week, so the soil is ready to be worked. I no longer till, or even turn over, the soil in my garden beds, preferring to follow the no-till gardening method for the past few years. I have already spread several inches of leaf compost on all of the beds and so they—and I—are ready to go. 

When I plant the first crops of the season each year, I can’t help but say a little prayer for all those tiny seeds. I ask for just enough water, bountiful sunshine and fertile soil; and for the absence of deer, rabbits and groundhogs inside the garden fence. I ask for some extra worms, a few less slugs and plenty of “electric” dirt—alive with all the good things my plants need to grow. 

Despite my constant comments to friends about my never needing to have the first ripe tomato of the season, I also pray to have the first ripe tomato of the season. But not so that I can brag to said friends, but rather so that I can bite into the first homegrown mater in June rather than waiting until July. Patience is indeed a virtue, but when it comes to tomatoes, virtue be damned.    

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