My Wire Tunnels Are Holding Three Inches

My wire tunnels are holding three inches of snow up off my new transplants. I had forgotten about this benefit. It’s a little dark in there but at least they are standing strait and proud. The cut off asparagus stalks are sticking up out of the snow like Gabby Hayes’s whiskers. The roots are awakening from winter slumbers to begin sending the spears on the long journey to the surface. We should begin seeing them in April. I don’t know how they can tell when it’s time to begin their new life cycle, they are over a foot deep and devoid of light and major temperature variations. It’s hard to believe they actually have a clock like mechanism with memory. It’s fun to imagine them pushing slowly through the ground, getting fatter as they go, using the stored energy from your letting the ferns grow all summer long.

The onions are having a slow time of it this year. They’ve come up sporadically and are not stretching to the sky like the garlic is. They look like they are falling over and are growing in different directions. Their pencil sized stalks are probably not getting enough light because of our lack of sun. They could use some solar collector leaves like the zucchini plants have. People who haven’t grown zucchini probably can’t believe that you can let a 6″ fruit remain on the plant overnight and it will grow to 8″ by the next day. I thought plants went somewhat dormant at night, but not zucchini. Billions of cell divisions occur to increase the fruit diameter and length. Such busyness makes me think it outputs heat from all the movement of carbohydrates out of storage and into the growth of the fruit. It will be fun one day to experiment with grafting large leaves onto small veggies to see if we can grow them faster 🙂

The first week in March is the time when we can direct seed lettuce, chard, peas, beets, radishes, spinach and carrots if your soil is not too wet. I checked my antiquated garden journal against http://frostdate.com and am happy to report that it’s still relevant. I think the differences each year will primarily depend on how much rain we get, not so much the temperature. Half of my garden is too wet to work the soil. Squishing a handful and having it stick together is a method of determining this. The other half of my garden is filling up with crucifer transplants and it is a work of art. I’m planting in blocks to accommodate my orbital sprinkler this year, and having all the transplants tucked into interconnected zones instead of spread out over the whole garden, gives a sense of completion to the area. It’s now an area to be admired as I work my way farther out.

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