Tuesday, May 09, 2006

To plant or not to plant

That is the question. Every year, in early May, I toy with the idea of planting my tender annuals and vegetable starter plants before the frost date has passed. Dutchess County planting time usually coincides with Mother's Day. I remember because plants were our standard Mother's Day gift for my mom. That's all she ever wanted. Plants, flowers, roses vegetables and some soft, rich soil to plant them in. We got her the plants. We dug the holes. That was our Mother's Day. That and a meal made by the kids or dad, or takeout, if we actually wanted to enjoy what we were eating. It made her happy.

My Mother's Days are just about the same. All I want is my family and garden stuff. Plants, flowering shrubs, bird baths and a little, weedless stone path through my 10 x 10 perennial garden. I want my lilacs to bloom (Mother's Day gift 2004). My azaleas finally did (2003). I want the deer to find their own Mother's Day brunch to nibble from. Little things.

So, here I am, with a few moments to plant and I'm torn. Last year, I planted early and a hard frost hit that night. I've never been a weather hound. I had to dig out most of the vegetable garden I had planted (with the neighbors looking on in confusion) and loaded it all into a pile of soil in my wheelbarrow. There it sat, parked in my garage, waiting for sunshine and warmer temps.

This week's forecasted lows are mid-40's. No frost there. I think I'm safe to plant. But now I've spent the time typing instead of planting. They'll wait one more day in their tidy flats. And I'll just have to dream of sweet lilacs (maybe next year) and the sweet corn I'll have in August (my first attempt at corn).

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At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always end up planting before the frost date. I just can't wait until May 15th. Ugh.

I just plant, cross my fingers and watch the weather channel like crazy, hoping I won't have to cover things up for the night!


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