Press-Republican

Columns

March 3, 2014

Spring will come; get ready to garden

Spring isn’t in the air but will be soon

The March 20 is officially the first day of spring. I don’t know what that means to you, but I’m not expecting to wake up that morning with balmy temperatures and colorful birds flying about cheerfully chirping and making it appear that I’m in a Disney movie. I think it more likely that for another month or so we’ll be asking each other, “Isn’t it supposed to be spring?”

To me, spring is marked by the arrival of the red-winged blackbird, the loud cracking noises of the ice shifting on the lake, the green tip of a crocus leaf peeking up from the earth and the ability to pull the stakes anchoring Christmas decorations out of the thawing ground.

MORE DAYLIGHT

What we call the first day of spring is actually the vernal equinox, one of only two times a year that the sun passes directly over the equator. 

The other time is the autumnal equinox, which occurs on Sept. 22 this year and marks for us the first day of fall. Coming out of the winter we have just experienced, we are anxious for an increase in hours of daylight, warmer temperatures and the return of green grass, leafy trees, and, dare I say it, weeds and insects. Granted, the thrill wears off when you spend all your free time mowing, weeding and swatting, but the beginning of the season is always most welcome.

PLAN AHEAD

This is a good time to pull out your gardening journal (if you don’t have one, I suggest you start one) and review what worked and didn’t work for you last year. 

Putting some thought into your garden now will help you to get a jump on things and avoid having too much to do in too short a time when the season gets underway. The last frost date in our area usually occurs during the first week of May. That may seem like a long way off, but for me, pacing myself keeps it fun. 

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