Spring in Illinois

So, here we go again. Last week the temperatures were in the low 80s, and we had dinner on the deck every night. Now we are back to the reality of Spring in Illinois. Thank God I got the peas and spring greens in the ground last week.

Early Spring Plantings

Goebbert’s opened today, and unlike last year it was 82° instead of snowing.

My first task was to weed the pea enclosure. I pulled out the trellises and, with a trowel, dug out the Lemon Mint and Canadian Thistle that was growing mostly behind the trellis. I hadn’t done that in a few years.

Actually, my first task was to put a new handle on the trowel. The old handle was cracking apart on the end, and I gave myself a nasty blister on my palm last year from aggressive digging and the rough end of the handle digging into my hand. I replaced the old handle with a new wood and metal file handle. It should outlast me, but it was about a 45-minute job to get it fitted properly.

After the weeding, which took a couple of hours, I had a meeting at SA and then went to Goebbert’s and got my plants. It was a really small selection, but I got mostly what I needed, other than parsley, beets, and spinach. I needed a nap after that. (The first day of gardening after sitting on my butt in front of a computer all winter comes as a shock.) My energy was restored after that, and I took my Ryobi electric stapler and connected the bottom of the fencing to the wood frame around the beds to keep my rabbit friends out of the patch. Then I planted peas and 9 Imperial broccoli plants. Imperial is a new variety for Goebbert’s. They have supplied Green Comet in the past. That finished the bed. I’ll plant pole beans in June when the peas are done.

Then I planted the greens in the first bed and am hoping that the taller sides on that bed will discourage the rabbits. We’ll see. Planting was easy as I had rototilled in the fall, so I just needed to break the surface up with the trowel. I planted 6 Green Romaine and 6 Red Romaine. I really like the Red Romaine, and they didn’t have it last year. Then I put in 6 Red Kale, 5 Mustard Greens, and 3 Chinese cabbage. Somehow I grabbed two packs of Mustard Greens rather than two packs of Chinese cabbage. I really need to check what I buy as this happens every year.

I have Rosemary to plant yet, but that will happen tomorrow.

First Outdoor Dinner

I did a quick cleanup of the deck and furniture today as the temperature was in the low 70s so that we were able to have our first dinner on the deck. Wonderful – no bugs yet! Hope to get some plants in later this week.