Pushing Spring

empty bluebird house with sign

It's all ready for the spring and summer residents

It is that time of year again!    I will not say  I have cabin fever; just know I can not believe it is mid February; my fingers  are aching to feel dirt under these ragged nails.

The past four days feel like spring; to heck with the fact  a week ago the ground was covered with an unprecedented level  fluffy soft white stuff– 5 inches worth at my house.

It was gone in a day’s time.  Then the itch set in.

First I see a flock of robins  (actually around a patch of snow).   Talk about a sign of spring! Then I notice the elm tree buds swelling.

Thoughts  turn to our family of bluebirds who occupy our nesting box every year.  The old box has seen  it’s better days after 4 years, so got a brand new cedar one ready.  Hope it is not too high class for my country pair.

I can not wait to get started with the outside garden.   For some reason I have had it in my head that the last frost is about 6 weeks away and mentally have been planning in that direction.  When I was driving  to the garden center a couple days ago,my poor aging brain suddenly calculated,  officially the last killing frost is about April 15.   This is mid February, officially  there are 2 whole months til spring planting time.

“NO WAY!!  I ain’t going to wait that long!  I won’t, I got to have  a dirt grubbing, finger nail busting  fix NOW!!”

strawberrry bucket

15 Tristar and 10 Quinault strawberries and a lot of hope

Whew! thank goodness, I know about alternative gardening methods.   Fixed up a new fangled strawberry bucket. Twenty five strawberry plants later I am on my way to spring time!  That did not calm my dirt grubbing craving though; it just added fuel to the urge.

Limited (but very successful)  Ebucket and homemade earthbox trials last year give me great hopes for this year. Dreams of oodles of heirloom tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and corn fill my head.

Really jumped the gun; started  9 varieties of heirloom tomatoes early February.   They are up and going; along with some heirloom pepper.   Only have room for 2 plants each variety so planted what I thought was 5 seeds of each; imagine my surprise when from 6-8 plants showed

Heirloom tomatoes--I planned 5 each but Surprise!!

for most of the varieties.  I did not realize seeds could stick together so well they look like a single seed.  Maybe some lucky souls will accept gift plants.    The challenge now will be to keep them growing til the warm weather comes.

Well, swell, I know what I will do.  Never planted a winter garden.  I do have raised beds I have been working with for several years, wonder if I might be able to plant something in one of them?


Using the square foot gardening idea on a 3 x 10 foot raised bed I am beginning;  9 Georgia collards and 3 Golden Cross cabbage, I am off and running.   Experimenting with an earthbox for 6 of the cabbage.

6 Golden Cross cabbages in earthbox

Last year’s crops taught me not to pooh pooh close planting.  Can’t argue with over a

Collards and cabbage using square foot garden spacing

dozen beautiful ears of corn from a 10 gallon earthbox or one pound size tomatoes from 2  ten foot (plus) vines growing in a 10 gallon box!

How innocently it started.  Now I am planning beets, carrots, chard, lettuce and spinach.   It is late, but I am going to plant garlic cloves, maybe some onions and potatoes.

My enthusiasm for herbs has been fanned as well.   Started, already, are oregano, mint, thyme, parsley.   I enjoy the fruit smells of scented plants so here I go in that direction as well.

Like a kid at Christmas time with dreams of sugar plums dancing in his head, this old geezer dreams of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and corn and Spring that is on it’s way.


A note: just saw our mama bluebird checking out the new condo; maybe her family will move in and I can change the sign to “occupied”.

Come on Spring, come on!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rodger winn on February 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I am working nights this weekend and took the time to read over your blog. I have never blogged (till now) but have heard about it, my daughter would be lost without facebook or her cell phone and text messaging while I am content to lurk at gardening forums and make an occasional comment but I am content to spending most of my time in my greenhouse or gardening. You provided me with the link to your site. I am Rodger Winn I live in Newberry Co. in Little Mountain. Gary Millwood told me about you and your interest in heirloom tomatoes. I have a like passion but mine has become an obsession. I potted up about 3000 plants this weekend will pot up another 15000 before I am through comprizing over 200 heirloom varieties of vegetables and herbs with tomatoes being over half. I sent you an e-mail the account Gary gave you I do not use much so I did not notice your comment till yesterday. My Family is from Saluda Co.My Dad was born in Ward in 1934 and there is 5 generations of Winns in the Spann Methodist church cementary in Ward. Interesting thoughts I see jy self in many of them. Maybe we can meet one day and you are invited tomy tomato tasting on July 17 at noon. Rodger


    • Thank you Rodger. My mind can not comprehend handling that many seedlings! We are neighbors in more ways than one. My mother was born in Ward………..way before yours. Grew up around Winns in Saluda.

      I would love to write (or better yet have you write) about the tomato tasting. I have no idea what it is or it’s purpose is; I’ll bet there are many out there in the same position. Would like to put the word out.

      Thanks for the invite.


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