Let the Gardening Begin!

March is here...can you believe it? As the weather wonks keep saying "it's the start of meteorological Spring!" Woo hoo!!

Of course, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. While we are enjoying a multitude of Spring flowers in bloom, it has turned cold again here in the Piedmont, with more clouds than sun...more rain than norm. No snow...yet...but the possibility of white precip popped up on the weather ap we use on our i-devices. Joy.

I'm so over Winter, how about you?

Today, I got up-and-out early, heading to Kathryn Clay Edwards Library for Family Vegetable Day. While several fellow Master Gardener volunteers held classes for kids, two EMGVs and I held a class called Grow Your Best Vegetable Garden for the adults. Well, that was the plan. We had a roomful of folks, including a whole troop of Girl Scouts...and several wee ones who accompanied their parents. It was interesting, to say the least. Hehe.

Truthfully? I enjoyed presenting this wonderful program (although I could have used about 15 more minutes...:-), and even though I slurred some of my words and had a couple of muscle spasms while speaking, I felt good about being back in the game...and I don't think many noticed, or cared, if they did notice. It's all about what I can do...not about what Bell's Palsy keeps me from doing. Plus, what could be more Spring-like than spending a whole morning talking about gardening?!

Spending a whole morning actually gardening, you might say. Right. Because of all the rain we've had lately, our soil is just too wet to work. So we wait. And wait. And wait. And nothing has been planted. Sigh.

But, talking to the group today about the planting calendar reminded me that March 1st (give or take a day or two) is like the Kentucky Derby of planting. And that we are six weeks away from our area's average last frost date, April 15...when it's generally considered safe to start transplanting warm season veggies like tomatoes (give or take a week or two). So, doing the math, I realized today was the day to start my tomato seeds. I could plant after all!

There are five varieties of tomatoes, planted in 36 little Jiffy peat pods, resting in 3 egg cartons on a tray on top of the refrigerator. Germination requires warmth as well as moisture, so covered cartons are a great place for the seeds to begin life. If all goes well, ten days from now, we should have little Jet Stars, Plum, Juliets, Lemon Drops, and Mexico Midgets (those last two were from the Seed Exchange at Old Salem in January). Fingers crossed!

The 2013 garden begins. Here we go!


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