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Thursday, February 04, 2016

February, the longest month of winter for gardeners

Snowdrop blooms in the sun
I think gardeners might have a bit of a warped sense of time.

We think that February is the longest month of the year.  It is four weeks, plus an extra day this year, of nearly interminable waiting for March.

Now, I do know that for some gardeners, the beginning of March is really their beginning of spring.  For me, though, it is really March 17th.

March 17th is when, with great ceremony, I march (pun alert!) out to the vegetable garden and sow a row of peas.

The ceremony part involves me sticking a soil thermometer in the ground to verify that the soil temperature is over 40F and then standing there with my hands on my hips, surveying the blank canvas of the vegetable garden.

I look from one raised bed to the next and remember how the garden was laid out last season, then figure out where the tomatoes are going to go. After I've done that, I pick another bed, and sow seeds for peas.

But that's still many weeks from now. Winter weeks. Long weeks. Waiting weeks. February weeks. The longest month of winter.

But once we are through February... hang on. Spring goes quick!

11 comments:

Lea said...

So true, so true!

Sarah Shoesmith said...

This time of year demands such patience of gardeners. February is a time to wait. Doing nothing is incredibly taxing. We want to get ahead of our gardening tasks, especially knowing how busy April will be. But we learn (eventually) to wait. Enjoy the pea sowing, when the time finally arrives. It will be worth the wait!

Cindy, MCOK said...

February IS spring here on my corner of Katy so it seems like a short month to me. January is the long one!

Helen Malandrakis said...

I agree with Cindy. I'm so glad January is gone! I look forward to the Spring Garden Clinic in February!

Dee Nash said...

Hang in there my friend. February can be the cruelest month. ~~Dee

Leslie Kuss said...

February has become the month that around here we start to get worried about the rain we haven't had.

Janice Taylor said...


Yes, even here in Central Florida, February seems endless. There's a limit to the tidying up one can do in the garden until March, so you're left with a lot of time to anticipate. Spring never lasts long enough, it passes while we gardener's are in a frenzy trying to whip everything into shape...but, loving every minute of it.

Lisa Greenbow said...

I so agree with your take on February. February and August are my least favorite months. Come on March.

Flower Alley said...

I agree with you about February. Enough winter all ready. I went down to check all my bulbs in storage yesterday. They are so pitiful. They want spring as much as I do. I keep busy reading gardening books, but that's sort of like reading cookbooks while on a diet. Blah. March on in March!

Jane Hoehoegrow said...

'Not long now, not long!' It is a mantra I keep repeating to myself every day until we get to March. Yesterday I just caught a whiff of spring in the breeze, and it felt so good. I try to kid myself that the new gardening season starts when I switch on the propagator, but it doesn't really count until growth begins outside again.
Enjoy your pea planting ritual - not long now, not long ...

Susan Roden said...

I am still so busy in my flower garden in February. It is getting later in the season to divide and rearrange perennials, which I seem to spend a lot of time doing. Will I ever make up my mind where I really want to put that plant? I love it when a plant shows me where it wants its home to be & just thrives in its location. So much to do, and so little time. I feel like a white rabbit in wonderland.