Hold Your Hoes!

by Curt Kovener

The sun was shining, the temperature was warm, and like many of you, I got the hankering to put some seeds in the ground and start some semblance of a garden.
After all, there are not one but TWO greenhouses advertising in this week’s newspaper. Surely it can’t be too early, can it?
I am not one who cleans the garden at season’s end. I am more of a no-till farming gardener. So this past weekend I decided to clear off the remains of last year’s now desiccated plants and vines and pull the plethora of tender green weeds which more than dot the small garden spot.
The weeds pulled easily and even though winter dried, last year’s zucchini, squash, pepper and tomato skeletons were still firmly rooted and gave way begrudgingly.
Then I got the hoe out and did some old-school tilling of the still black mulch laden soil.
Knowing it is still early, and frosts still can occur, I opted to lay out some rows of cool season loving peas and lettuce.
But in making some rows in which to plant is when I discovered that which the air temperature is warm, the soil is still cold. And there is quite a bit of difference between ambient temperature and that of the soil.
No sense planting seed in cold soil because it won’t germinate. So I delayed the initiation of this year’s produce production for a bit longer.
But I stayed busy the rest of the afternoon shelling another two cups of last season’s now well dried hickory nut. I suppose hickory nut pie is not just a Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert and Easter is this Sunday.