When I last wrote, I had a tray of seedlings in the basement, a row of spinach sowed in the garden, six weeks of unseasonal mild weather behind me and a forecast for the same. Naturally, the six weeks which elapsed between then and now was marked by a return to cold and sunless weather, broken punctually by hail-and-tornado-spawning thunderstorms.
But first, for over a week in March, the lows crashed into the teens only to be moderated by snowfall and days of chilly drizzle. I thought I would be re-sowing my spinach for sure. However, when milder weather finally returned, I found that the little seedlings were not in the least bit disturbed by winter's return! Emboldened, I took advantage of a dry week to rototill some beds into the new garden and into a pair of them I triple sowed this year's peas.
Down in the basement, my kale and broccoli seedlings emerged and grew their tiny first leaves. The stirring of Spring weather, however, woke up the boxelder beetles, who were attracted by the light and warmth of the seed bed warmer. I suspect that they are also attracted to my nightshades: one-by-one my healthy looking tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings, would go wilty at the top and their first true leaves would shrivel and fall off. Disgusted, I gave up on them and as the weather grew milder, I moved my brassicas outside into my cold frame to harden off, away from nefarious plant-sucking mouthparts.
This was about a week and a half ago. Today was downright warm and overcast. Rain is in the forecast. This was perfect weather to transplant seedlings into the garden. I now have ten broccoli and five kale seedlings out there surrounded by a liberal dousing of diatomaceous earth to kill any hungry slugs.
My spinach now has their true leaves, I have observed. The pea sprouts have begun to emerge.
For the second time this year, managed to get my rototiller running long enough to up the old garden. I raked the soil up into six long raised beds in preparation for the strawberries that should be arriving at some point this spring.
It has been a productive afternoon and I now enjoy the early evening, bare chested and typing. I have started the waterfall pump in my water garden. I have chopped down the straw of last year's ornamental grass and burned away the stubble. Leopard and bull frogs are croaking and toads are singing. Frog Lord, Tyrant of All Amphibians, has moved into the pond and I fear has designs on some of my smaller goldfish. Birds are twittering. Trees are leafing. Daffodils are blooming.