Tuesday, March 24, 2015


We are supposed to have a warm up so I've started bringing the plants outside for some real sunshine today. I really want them to have bright sun for a bit. Leaves that don't get enough light can have nitrate build up. Usually it is an issue for greenhouse growing in northern areas. I figure the fluorescent lights aren't any better than that, though I haven't done the research to be sure. So I'm going to let the plants get a couple weeks of real sun before starting to eat them.

I would have put them outside earlier, but it has been really cold here. About 10F below normal, even if it has been sunny. Yesterday only got to freezing and one day last week didn't even get that warm. Brrr. In addition it has been very windy. I even went out and tossed some snow on my rosemary plant. It is by the foundation of the house to keep it warmer, but the snow melts off of there very early. And the bitter winds weren't doing it any good.

Beds 1 and 2 are starting to melt out a little.

In Beds 3-8 it is just the path melting out. But it is a start. The Farmer's Almanac says April and especially May will be warmer than normal. I hope they are right and our weather changes because the snow needs to melt. Kathy was putting her pea planting dates from previous years on her blog, so I looked mine up.

  • 2014 April 5th (but only half the bed as the other half was still frozen)
  • 2013 March 27th
  • 2012 February 22nd
  • 2011 April 2nd
  • 2010 March 19th
  • 2009 March 26th

So last year was actually one of the later years that melted out. And it had only melted out half of the bed by then. I have to keep telling myself I have time. But it is hard when you get such cold weather so late in March. We will get into the 50s this week, but another day of 30s is predicted for later. And there is even more snow in the forecast for Monday, but that is a long way off. Maybe it will change to rain or miss us entirely. I can hope.


  1. You must be absolutely fed up looking out at snow

  2. Your post just reinforces the message that weather is the key influence in gardening. Artificial lighting and heating are all very well, but there is no real substitute for proper sunshine!

  3. It must be a relief to have a bit of warmth and to see a little bit of the garden reappearing. 2012 was a warm one. I seem to remember it being cooler than usual here.

  4. Holy cow, Daphne - your greens are HUGE...they seem to have grown overnight! I have yet to figure out what the "normal" time to plant out early spring crops like peas is - if there is such a thing as normal anymore.

    And I too recall (long ago) reading about the whole issue with nitrates in greenhouse greens grown in the lower light levels during the winter.

  5. Your plants look so healthy and like they are enjoying that sunshine! Nancy

  6. It has been unusually warm here for a good spell now, which, when covered in snow still, one might think is a good thing...except that the fruit trees are all and we truly still have a good two months until we are guaranteed to be without freezes here in the high desert. I have been feeling behind on everything with the move coming up this weekend and have yet to put a single seed into soil of any kind. This will either be a truly bountiful season, or...well...not. However, I am jealous of your record keeping and the knowledge, right there in black and white, that you still have time to plant your peas :-) I'm really hoping/trusting that this is our last move for a while...I'm ready to put down some new roots!

  7. We can see our driveway now and bare patches here and there, particularly the patch over the septic tank. The wild turkeys wandered through, first wild life we have seen this winter. Have not seen a deer yet this winter. It had to be tough on them.You are brave to be putting plants out now. Mine are going to stay inside under the lights for now.