My bush cherries are blooming in the middle of March!

I like planting rye for a winter cover crop because it makes growth late into the fall and begins early in the spring adding lots of organic material to the soil when it is worked down. It captures sun’s energy when nothing else would be growing.

It can be a problem where you want to plant early crops because the cover slows drying and after you till it under you are supposed to wait 2 weeks before planting. This is because freshly decomposing organic matter ties up available nitrogen as part of the decomposition process.  In a couple of weeks it releases that nitrogen plus makes even more available but that waiting period is advised.

The way I thought I would get around it was to plant oats where I want to put my early crops as that normally winter kills once the weather gets bad and is already rotting by spring.

Not this year. By late winter it had yellowed but once this  April. almost May type weather started it greened right up and now is in the way.  I also threw some oats down under the compost I spread on my peonies figuring that would add a little mulch but that has also greened up and is now essentially a weed, even as my peonies are already emerging so that is something else to deal with.

Normally we would expect asparagus to start showing up around the end of the first week of April if we are lucky, but I went out and checked it out this morning.  While the rhubarb is pushing through, that is usually ahead of the asparagus which hadn’t arrived yet, but I will be checking it every other day.

Fresh asparagus will be a treat after a winter of root crops from the root cellar and frozen beans, tomatoes and  berries from the freezer.    We do buy fresh non-local produce in the winter but still have a lot of our own stored away and try to eat as much of that as we can.  The green energy of  asparagus is  a spring tonic and its arrival is always welcomed like that of an old friend.

The spirea is budded up and will blossom in the next few days with the 78 degree (25 c) temperatures predicted for today and the next several days.

Losing the spirea would sad but it isn’t fragrant so I could live with it. Losing the lilacs would be a tragedy.  They are heavenly fragrant and one never knows if this might be one’s last spring.

I remember years the lilacs didn’t bloom until into May.  Hopefully we will get some cold weather (but not freezing) soon to slow things down.

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