Keeping It Real

Here in Southwest Wisconsin, we enjoy all FOUR seasons of the year. We laughingly refer to them as Fall, Winter, Spring and Road Construction. However, this year has been anything but the usual 4-season year for us. Our Christmas was brown and we have had the 9th warmest winter on record since they started plotting this information 100 years ago. We had quite a series of 30 and 40 degree days in the month of January which is almost unheard of for us and now that the ground hog has seen its shadow, we appear to be heading into a series of storms which will hit us every 2-3 days for the next 2 weeks with rain, sleet and snow expected.

The farmers in the area have been quite worried that the moisture content of the soil is far too low to sustain the necessary early planting that occurs around Easter each year. Perhaps this forecast will help relieve some of these negative effects.

With all of this turmoil in the soil, moisture and air conditions, it is hard to fathom a good gardening season, but I am optimistic anyway. I have saved all of my kitchen scraps, egg shells and other “compostables”, and continue to brew the brown “gold” I will spread on the gardens once the magic date of the proverbial last frost occurs around May 15th. I’ve also sent away to get my 4 different types of tomatoes seeds, a type of bush cucumber which hopefully won’t take up the entire garden this year, a new kind of garlic to put in my homemade spaghetti sauce and bell peppers for stuffing. The planting areas have been cleared and fresh bulbs have been put into the fluorescent lights which will help nurture the tiny seeds into plants strong enough to be put on the back deck for a couple of hours a day to harden off.

We planted 4 lilac bushes in an area of our yard which gets 4-6 hours of sunshine a day and although I know it will be another couple of years, I am looking forward to a westerly wind that will bring a fragrant smell through the front screen door as those tiny purple flowers open in the spring.

So I say “bring on the Spring and Road Construction”. I’ll be busy in my yard doing some great “construction” of mine own!
Happy Gardening!

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