it’s just me
Tags: cabbage transplants, direct sowing, early spring crops, frozen ground, impatience, lettuce seedlings, longing for spring, mustard, old harvest photographs, organized seed drawer, peas, radishes, seed catalogs, spinach
The intensity of my longing to be out in the garden has lately reached fever pitch. And it really does feel like a fever or an illness in some ways, the kind that stays with you a long time and drags down your energy level and leaves you feeling bored and antsy and miserable, unable to do much while you wait for your body to heal or the magic cure to take effect.
But so far, that’s like trying to locate a cure for the common cold.
Growing sprouts in Mason jars won’t cure it. Nor will watching the progress of a few lettuce seedlings on the dining room table.
Making out a garden plan and organizing the seed drawer only suppress the worst symptoms for a few days. Soon the organized ranks of seeds start whining at you from their corner, like spoiled children who haven’t gotten what they wanted when they wanted it.
“February 1st!” cries one of the dividers every time you glance in their direction, with “February 15th!” not far behind.
Seed catalogs seem at first to help, but the hurt is merely transferred to your bank balance. Besides, eventually the seed orders will have all been placed, and returning to the enticing pages of the catalogs may merely bring about the desire to unwisely and unnecessarily spend a little more. (Note to self: this applies to you, Meredith.)
Going through old harvest photographs will only exacerbate the symptoms, I discovered today. By the time I reached the photo above, I just had to stop myself from going any further.
“This is madness, Meredith,” I whispered, only glancing far enough down the thumbnail-sized archives to realize that I couldn’t stand the torture of mouthwatering shots of heirloom tomatoes piled in haphazard fashion on my counter top, a bounty of unique shapes and colors that by late August I was treating oh-so-casually.
According to the calendar produced by the university for this region, I could be direct sowing peas, mustard, radishes, and spinach and putting in the cabbage transplants by now. The weather is not cooperating, however.
My organic cabbage transplants were delayed by the massive snow storm that fouled up the shipping all over the continent last week, and my early pea planting probably didn’t survive two successive freak snows here. In my heart, I like to believe that they made it through on nothing but my warm thoughts and will sprout forth any day now; but in my head, that seed is wasted, and I’ll need to resow again soon — definitely before March 15th, if I’m going by the calendar.
When I saw blue skies this morning, I thought I’d sow a little spinach at the very least. Maybe some radishes, too. It was a bit chilly when I went outside, but I hardly expected to find the top inch to two inches of the ground frozen, crusty and inflexible.
I stared at it in disbelief, feeling betrayed.
This is a region of South Carolina that is supposed to be even warmer on average than where I lived in Atlanta, for goodness’ sake. It is February 17th, and I am ready to get my hands dirty now.
I know I sound like a silly brat, but perhaps God sits up and notices when you put something in italics. (Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were true? I’d write the longest italicized piece in history.)
The strangest part is, I was less impatient a month ago. You’d think the intensity would dissipate as we approach the end of the dormant season, not grow into a fierce tempest within the core of my being. Wouldn’t you?
And here I’d always heard that gardening was supposed to make one learn patience. I guess that only applies when one is actually gardening, and not during the off-season.
Or maybe it’s just me.