When the days started getting noticeably longer back in February, I wrote a post imploring spring to hold back so I could enjoy the break from gardening a while longer: http://mygreenvermont.blogspot.com/2013/02/dread-of-spring.html
Boy, did that wish ever come true! As I sit in my study wearing two sweaters and considering whether to put on a second pair of socks, curtains of sleet pour out of the sky. The spring peepers that had cheered us for two nights in a row have stopped peeping, and the frog that floated to the top of my garden pond and gave a single croak has not been heard from again.
Of my eight springs in Vermont, this has been by far the slowest to arrive. Last year we\’d had 80F temperatures by now, and the apple trees were setting fruit. O.k., that was alarmingly hot, but this!
Most people around here haven\’t planted anything in their gardens yet. But, crazy flatlander that I am, I put in my lettuce, kale, arugula and broccoli transplants last week. And I made a terrible, possibly a fatal, mistake. I was so thrilled to find the transplants available at Walmart that I failed to notice that, instead of being out in the parking lot, the racks of baby vegetables were in a room at the back of the store.
The next day they were in my garden. And the day after that they were in extremis. By putting them in the ground without giving them time to harden off I had shocked the little plants almost to death. Only by peering closely at the center of each one could I see a tiny leaf or two that still seemed to be alive.
This was followed by a couple of days when the temperature actually hit 60F for about five minutes–that was what got the peepers going–and I was certain that my transplants would survive. But now I\’m not so sure. I\’d go check on them if it weren\’t so raw out. I think I\’ll leave them to their fate–there\’s little I could do for them anyway. Sunday, we\’re supposed to get snow.