Spring Progress

We are in that great time of year when one flower, shrub, and tree blooms after another. Daffodils are fading as tulips arrive. Forsythia is passing the torch to redbud. Dogwood is about to open. My plum is beginning to flower as the pear petals are falling. The first apple blossoms will open any day.

Chattanooga gets wild temperature swings this time of year. Over the weekend we had a low of 28 F/ -2 C. By midweek afternoon temperatures are nearing 80 F/ 26 C. The frost hit just at peak bloom for pears, but some were not yet open and the bees are back to work. My vegetable starts spent two days back indoors on the grow table, and are back out getting gradually acclimated to more sunshine each day.

Yesterday, I mowed and collected the grass clippings. The rye grass I seeded last fall is now beginning to warm the compost pile which still has a high amount of browns from last fall’s leaves. One more addition of grass clippings and it will be a hot pile.

I have some lettuce sprouting that I direct seeded. My next lettuce sowing will be of the heat tolerant variety “Jericho”. It was bred in Israel and it is slower to bolt and go bitter than most lettuce. If I don’t get potatoes planted this week I won’t try this year. The clay soil I deal with isn’t ideal, but with a raised bed they do ok if planted while they still get some cool days. I’m hoping it stays dry enough to give me time to plant. Freshly dug new potatoes are just way better than store spuds. So much to do and enjoy this time of year.

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