Apr 14, 2009

April weather blues



Every year this happens. We get all excited after a couple of warm days, ('warm' being defined as 'over 55 degrees') and start strewing seeds around the garden. Spinach, miner's lettuce, mache, even a few beets. The soil is dry, in fact, it already needs watering, the weeds are off to a good healthy start, and leaf and flower buds on deciduous trees and shrubs are swelling. Meanwhile, tomatoes and their tender ilk are surging towards the grow light tubes indoors with alarming speed.

The experienced Bend gardener has so far restrained herself from making room in the greenhouse by callously moving the geraniums, bonsai and other wintered-over tender-ettes out to the deck and sheltered spots next to the house, a frequent mistake in her early gardening years. Hardy lettuce and mesclun are growing happily in containers outside. So yes, spring is proceeding nicely.

Then we get this kind of weather forecast. To be honest, I'm not all that surprised. This is normal for April. And in past years, I would just ignore the non-gardening weather whiners in town and do the nightly plant dance (9:00 pm, bring plants inside), accompanied by the morning plant dance (9:00 am, take plants outside).

But this year I have been bloggified. I have been reading garden blogs from Other Regions, and -- gasp -- all of them, EVERY SINGLE ONE, has a longer growing season than we do. One even has a little countdown on her opening page, "XXX days until Last Spring Frost" and it's something like April 15. Have a heart! And she's in Massachusetts -- it's not like Florida or some other ridiculously balmy state.

Here in The Frozen North, er, the Sagebrush Ocean, we plan on 2 ........ more .......... months .......... until last spring frost. I have been ruined, ruined, I say, shaken cruelly from my little world of acceptance of our climatic limitations, and find myself with a wee case of 'the grass is not only greener, it's also a damned sight warmer'...

OK, Ned, get a grip. Take a deep breath. Well, not too deep, I don't want to inhale any of the little white balls that are currently falling out of the sky. A shallow breath, then. I will now make another cup of coffee and go fondle my greenhouse seedlings. And contemplate adding 'Countdown: 2 months until my Last Spring Frost' on my blog front page.

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