Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

New England is currently experiencing strange spring like weather. It feels like early April more than early March. I think of March as a temperamental month. It might have a good day, but it will punish you for it by snowing on you the day after. Since Saturday our temps have risen into the 50Fs, even the high 50Fs. Our nights have been touching freezing but not dipping below. The days have been sunny and glorious. The weather will stay like this through tomorrow then it will stay warm but it will rain.

Thomas said his beds were already unfrozen by Sunday. Mine were still frozen solid. I went out and covered them with plastic and row covers. They are starting to thaw. I thought they were unfrozen yesterday, but it was just the middle bed. The upper and lower still had ice below the surface. Today I again went out.

Nope there is still ice under there. And the soil temps say it isn't quite yet time to plant peas in this bed. Too bad. I already had the peas in hand when I went outside. I guess I was overly optimistic.

Spinach bed is the one on the left this year

Spinach however can handle the cool temps and I'm sure its plastic covered bed will be totally defrosted by Friday.

So I started to chit some seeds. Two days is about the maximum that they can stay in their paper towel condo. I'll plant them out Friday morning, hopefully before the rain starts. That ought to get them started well. But the peas will have to wait until after the weekend rain storms are over.


  1. Goodness, your weather is only slightly colder than what we've had lately. At least the sun has come out today and it's supposed to be dry for a couple of days. Your garden looks so different from the jungle that you had last summer!

  2. Weather in your place is so temperamental, whereas ours here is moody and sentimental. On good mood, it shines but on bad days, it sheds tears as rains. ~bangchik

  3. My ground is still frozen as well. We're getting down into the low 20s at night, though. I'm really enjoying the warm weather, even if it only lasts for a few days.

  4. I planted some snow peas and fava beans this past weekend. The temps reached down to 30 degrees the past couple of nights but I'm gonna take the chance that they are still ok. I'm sure the weather this month will be very unpredictable. Best to keep plenty of plastic at hand!

  5. Thomas is right! I bet this month will be a whilrwind of temperatures.

  6. Yep, this is the one month that basically anything can happen with the weather.

  7. Your beds look really nice, hopefully they thaw soon so you can plant your seeds.

    Our weather is quite unpredictable as well, we get 2-3 warm sunny days and then a week of cold and rain, it's going to snow tonight according to the weatherman.

  8. I really like your soil thermometer - mine does not have nearly as big a read out area and I find myself having to work hard to be sure I am reading the information correctly.

    Bet your beds are thawed out and ready to go in a jiffy.

  9. First time I baggie chitted something was last week to test germination on my parsnip seeds. Happy to say results were good.

    I see you're chitting your spinach. I presume it germinates quickly or is there another reason for the 2 day max ?

  10. Michelle's right -- we got a few days a bit colder than that. But we don't tend to have frozen soil underneath our topsoil, either. That must be nice for pest elimination. Hang on -- March is a wild weather ride.

  11. michelle, it takes a while for the jungle to happen. By the end of the June it will start looking like a jungle again.

    Bangchik, lol yup. Mine can be punishing at times.

    The Mom, we will have had about a week of unusually warm sunny weather before the rain starts again. That is so unusual for March.

    Thomas, I'm sure they are fine. peas can take mildly freezing weather just fine (their blooms can't, but the rest of the plant can). I've never grown favas but I've heard they are similar.

    Ribbit, it is.

    EG, I'm hoping for our nice weather to continue. I just love going for walks on days like these.

    Mac, it is amusing that you are going to get snow and we are getting some fine weather.

    kitsapFG, the funny thing is that it isn't a soil thermometer. It is for making lattes and testing the temps of the milk. It works just the same, but just repurposed.

    Miss M, spinach starts to send out little roots at about two days. It doesn't fully germinate by then, but the process starts. Spinach is very fragile so out to be planted before the seed totally cracks open. I'll probably see a couple of roots starting to push out, but they will be barely there at the time.

    Stefaneener, lol no you wounldn't get frost in your soil very deep. Here pipes have to be laid out very deep to stay below the frost line. I think 3' is usually recommended.

  12. It has been beautiful here as well. My polytunnel has fit 86f and the overwintered napa cabage is starting to bolt. Certainly has been a strange winter. Lets hope we don't pay for all this nice weather at the end of the month.

    It might be worth while to presprout those Big Chili II peppers. Not sure what is taking mine so long but I am still holding out hope. Pepper some time seem to take ages to sprout.

  13. Daphne, it's only a matter of time. This winter has been long and hard, making everyone very impatient. I hope your soil warms sooner than later!

  14. Dan, that is hot in the tunnel. I often don't use plastic on cool weather crops in the spring for just that reason. It gets too hot too fast. I just don't pay attention enough to control the temps. I might well presprout the peppers. It can't hurt.

    Kimberly, yup not too long now.

  15. I haven't lived in New England too long, but my golly, I'm excited that it is spring ... I've worked the gardens and even direct sowed my cool weather spring crops - all risky, I know ... but I do have a question for you ... how do you vent your plastic so that on the warmer days your babies don't cook?