has it sprung?

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Did you get some gardening done during this sunny, gorgeously warm weekend?  I finally planted the peas (Green Arrow and Cascadia shellpeas and Oregon Sugar Pod II snowpea) at the end of last week, hedging my bets again this year by planting both seed and starts.  Getting smarter in my old age.  So I had some time to weed all the back beds, turn the compost, and do some pruning of the blackcaps, raspberries, grapes, and elderberries.

If you haven’t pulled out the Little Western Bittercress yet, do it very soon, as the little seeds are almost ready to shoot across the garden and into your eye.  True story, 2011.  It’s fine to leave it in until about now, because it does serve as a weedy cover crop if you have enough, but you want to move fast now as the flowers and seed heads form.  If you don’t know what it looks like, see former Food for Thought co-host and former Corvallis blogger Laura McCandlish’s post and images.

I also started chitting potatoes, German Butterball and a new variety called Island Sunshine (says a customer: “Developed by two organic farming brothers on Prince Edward Island. Most talked about yellow variety since Yukon Gold appeared in 1980. Most resistant to late blight. Thin smooth yellow skin, creamy yellow flesh.”).  Much smaller crop this year, but i’m going to try to get more yield.

I love this time of year, because I find the difficult transition of the sleeping plants into spring helps me celebrate the passage of time and the cyclical nature of life instead of just feeling morose, aging, damp, and cold.  Flowering quince (above) are my favorite of the flowering plants and bushes in Eugene, and we have many from which to choose.  What are yours?

Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed we don’t get snow.  Let’s not forget about the First Day of Spring Snowstorm last year:

IMG_0617That’s my flowering quince before I ran outside, dodging a downed powerline, to beat the snow off the branches and flowers with a broom.  Because no one, and I mean NO ONE, is going to ruin my damn quince flower quality time.

5 thoughts on “has it sprung?

  1. baltimoregon 11 March 2013 / 6:03 am

    Thanks for the shout-out! This makes me nostalgic for Oregon spring:) We’re a month behind schedule here in Maine. No bittercress on ground here, as it’s still covered with lingering snow. I can’t get into my community garden plot to plant peas until around April 20:( And ah, those bright pink flowering quince we had in front of the house in Corvallis. And ditto on the bittercress seeds in the eyes! Pull them out and eat them before it’s too late.

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  2. Linda Ziedrich 11 March 2013 / 9:42 am

    Wow–your flowering quince is way ahead of mine! But it’s warmer down south there, right?

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  3. drfugawe 11 March 2013 / 11:50 am

    Put my peas (Cascadia) in 2 weeks ago – but only about 1/5th decided to pop – but I’ve got some starts going too, which are also proving slow. I’ve seen a few of those bittercress in my garden, but most of my weed space is always occupied by henbit (dead nettle) – if you tell that’s edible too, weeds in my garden are history! (I’m actually devoting a plot of garden space to dandelion greens.)

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  4. Ceri 13 March 2013 / 8:10 pm

    We are up a couple hundred feet from the valley floor so our flowering quince are still closed tight. Any day now. Planted peas this weekend 2 weeks later then intended so we’ll see how they grow.

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  5. Eugenia 22 March 2013 / 9:46 am

    Thanks for the quince and pea reports, everyone. I really love my flowering quince — it’s so hopeful. My pea starts are now mostly devoured by slugs (and with two rounds of slug bait a week apart — yes — a week!). But the pea seed I planted is just beginning to come up. Trying to decide whether to buy yet again more pea starts or just hope for the best. A dangerous game with peas in the WV. @Drfugawe, I’ve been vigilant with the henbit, especially with its fragile stems that so ingeniously break off when you’re weeding, leaving the root system intact.

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