Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > March 2015 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Spring, Sprang, Sprung

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Even though the past few days have been mild, two snows and one “wintry mix” day in the past month have convinced me that I’m more than ready for spring.  So when is Spring really?  Well, that depends on who you ask.  In the United States, Spring begins on the Vernal Equinox (on or about March 20/21).  Meteorologists consider spring consisting of the months March, April, and May.

Celtic tradition has spring beginning on Candlemas (February 2) and continuing until Beltane—the first of May.  In Sweden, spring officially begins when the average temperature is greater than zero degrees Celsius seven days straight.  The traditional Chinese calendar, like the Celtic calendar, has spring running from early February to early May.  And in Australia and New Zealand, spring begins on September 1 and ends November 30.

In spring, unstable weather is more common as air, warmed by the increasing sunlight, comes into conflict with remaining polar air masses.  In the Central U.S., in what is known as Tornado Alley, tornadoes become more common as the Rocky Mountains prevent the air masses from spreading, forcing them into direct conflict with each other. To quote Mark Twain, “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”

To me, as a gardener, spring means watching the weather more closely, being prepared to remove some of the layers of mulch from my perennial beds, waiting impatiently for those first buds of daffodils to open, while enjoying the crocus which are already brightening my flower beds and lawn.  If you’re going to put down a pre-emergent weed preventer in your lawn, spring means waiting for your forsythia to being to bloom, because that’s the time to apply it. 

Tolstoy said that “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”  That’s true enough because Spring (mid-March) is when I’m going to plant potato sets and onions, shallots, and garlic.  I can plant asparagus crowns now, as well as horseradish, rhubarb, and strawberry sets.  I can plant peas now and set out seedlings of lettuce, spinach and kale for spring crops.  There are some seeds that can be direct sowed in early Spring—read the back of the seed packet for exactly when.  When the seed packet says to plant four to six weeks before the last frost date, I count back from May 1, just to be completely safe—remember in the last three years, we’ve had frosts as late as April 27th and 28th.

Spring can mean a little (or a lot) of work in and on my garden.  On the other hand, Robin Williams said that “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party.’”
Posted: 3/16/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
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