As spring nears, thoughts on what to plant abound

This is such a wonderful time of year, all sorts of nice things going on in the garden and a gardener’s blood starts to boil

Two months of winter are gone and with any luck there is only one more month to go before we’ll see definite signs of spring — tulip foliage showing up, and maybe the odd daffodil bud showing a bit of colour. Lovely.

This is such a wonderful time of year, all sorts of nice things going on in the garden and a gardener’s blood starts to boil as he scrapes off any of last year’s soil still on the shovel and sharpens the hoe.

We dream of early lettuce and radishes in the first salad made from our own produce!

This is clouding our better judgement. We now decide to dig up the whole area and buy several tons of seeds.

Whoa there!

Lets not get carried away!

Its hard not to when the sun shines and it’s actually slightly warm on your shoulders and you begin to wonder where you put your dark glasses last fall.

Ah me, spring! What will I plant this year?

Maybe I’ll start with a few potatoes, using the ones that are sprouting in the utility room. I know its awfully early, but just think of those delicious, tiny new spuds that, with any luck, will be the earliest ever.

My friend, Cher, is going to plant some and she says, “if they rot too bad but if they don’t, whoopie! A real taste treat with lots of butter and a sprinkling of salt. Yum!”

Oh dear, now I’m hungry. Excuse me, please, while I make myself a peanut butter sandwich. Its not quite like the taste of new potatoes, but it will have to do.

Almost time to prune the roses, but not quite yet.

You could go out though and survey them and decide just what you are going to remove to open up the body of the bush so that there will be good air circulation.

While you are out there you could get the rake and remove all the fallen rose leaves. No use encouraging black spot or mildew which, unfortunately, will have lived over what is called winter.

It hasn’t seemed like winter at all. No snow, little wind, lots of rain, of course, but we get that anyway. Mind you there is still a chance we’ll get frost but my geraniums in a planter on the balcony are looking very perky in spite of the little bit of cold weather we did have. I’d hate to lose them now, this will be their third year if they survive till spring.

I’m also anxious to know how large my carrots have become. I haven’t pulled one for over a month. Maybe I’ll go out and do that right now.

See you with the big news in a minute …

It is not, unfortunately, big news.

Rather short and stout but I’m sure they will be tasty.

I’ll steam them and have a few for dinner.

Fortunately there are potatoes and squash as well. I’d starve if I had to survive on these carrots.

Oh well, I had to try.

Maybe if I start them a little earlier this year I can get larger ones by this coming fall. It’s still a little early for the seed to go in, so please be patient.

Please, do as I say, not do as I do!

You’ll be a whole lot safer that way!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.


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