Parent to Parent: Spring IS Coming!
Parent to Parent
Spring IS Coming!
by Patti Hermes
I have to keep reminding myself that winter will end and spring will come. Even as it is snowing once again. Even as many of you have it much worse. The calendar says you should be getting ready to plant your gardens, but the piles of snow haven’t quite melted yet. Or maybe all that snow did finally melt, but your garden plot is looking more like a duck pond than a haven for your tomato plants. All we can do is wait.
I’m not good at waiting, but I’ve found a few strategies to keep me patient while winter drags out it’s last blast. And then I have to wait a few more weeks till the threat of frost is past, although it’s never a certainty until the first heat wave. I think I tell myself “maybe next week I can plant outdoors” for about five or six weeks, but that’s what I get for living up north.
Oh, back to my waiting games: seed catalogs. Thanks to winter dragging it’s heels, we all have a couple of extra weeks to browse and order from our favorite seed catalogs. But if you’ve already maxed out your seed budget, there’s still use for those catalogs: try actually reading them. If you usually just skim to the section that has what you usually order, check out all the free gardening advice in the margins, along the tops and bottoms of the pages, and then go to the web site and find more free advice. You may learn something new, maybe you’ve been gardening all wrong and this year you’ll correct your mistakes. Or not. But at least instead of staring longingly out the window, searching for that elusive sun to dry out your mud pile of a garden, you can be staring longingly at pictures of beautiful flowers and produce grown by the pros. And soon it will all be yours.
If you haven’t already, it’s probably a good time to start some seeds indoors. You don’t have to go all out and fill up a seed-starter tray. I will actually wash out my yogurt containers and start just enough to fill one measly windowsill, but it’s enough to keep hope in my heart that spring is actually coming. This is one area where the kids really like to help. Yes, they make more of a mess than I want them too, but they also make more fun. And this leads me to my next stall tactic
The sandbox. No, I don’t have little pre-schoolers digging in the big green turtle filled with sand anymore. They’re bigger than that, but we still have the sandbox. Only now we fill it with white beach sand and shells we’ve collected from our travels (and sometimes some critters who’ve tagged along, as well). The winter takes its toll on the sand, so every year I clean it all out and dry out the box before refilling it with fresh stuff. It’s quite a job, but come summer I have my own private beach, here in the Midwest, this busy mom’s paradise.
And speaking of big jobs that don’t have to wait it’s also time to check out the tool shed. March is the perfect time for taking inventory of what tools didn’t last through the year, what needs to be replaced, and also how much dirt and compost am I going to need to add. I built raised beds last year so I know I will be adding a lot for the next few years. And then off to the garden center I go!
So while I keep watch for any perennials that may be making a comeback, I’m still waiting for spring, just like everybody else. And even though it seems to take longer every year, I know it’s coming, eventually. Spring comes every year, so I know it WILL come!
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