We’ve been out to the farm a few times this last week. Quick, unexciting visits undertaken in the gloom of sopping wet weather to put the garbage can on the street; to drop off and then again to put together a storage tent in which we’ll put the wood of the shed as we dismantle it; and lately to check the progress of the peas we planted in late February.
Those peas have not pushed earthside yet, but of course I poked around a bit and found that they are germinating down there. Barring any freezing temperatures, it should be just a few days more until they emerge. I’m looking forward to these torrential rains stopping so I can plant my Green Arrow and Sugar Snap peas, and I’m equally looking forward to seeing how they do; seeing if later sowing really makes any difference. A late February planting date has worked well for me for the last decade, but the weather is nothing if not unpredictable, and so far this spring has been downright awful. I guess it’s good to branch out, to experiment a little. I really don’t know enough to be set in my ways, after all.
Small errands aside, it’s been too wet and cold and windy to do any of the things that really need to be done, like tilling the garden. How do other people in this predicament get their gardens ready for planting when it’s too wet to turn the earth? Do they do it anyway, soil compaction be damned? Or do they just wait, glancing nervously at the calendar as the drenching days tick by?
I admit I’ve never had to think about this before because I’ve always had raised beds to fall back on, with their loose and loamy soil, and also because for the first time we’re doing it on such a large scale (for us) and with the equally large intention of producing the majority of our vegetable needs for the year. I also admit (sheepishly) that we could have been planting already, hypothetically, if we’d just prepared the garden last fall like good smallholders do. Then everything could have already been cleaned and tilled and tucked away under plastic, ready for rake and hoe and seed.
But for us, for now, and for as despondent as it may make us feel, there is nothing left to do but defer to the weather.