Spring at Last?

Spring at Last?

A benefit of living in the upper Midwest USA is that on the west side of the Missouri River we have fairly temperate summers, usually lower humidity and temperatures do not often reach 100 F (38 C). We make up for it with a wide variability in the fall and spring. The average last killing frost is May 4, and the early average killing frost is September 12.  Many years we experience spring time in March only to have a killing frost, or a 30 inch snow in the latter part of April. Likewise in the fall, we may have a killing frost in early September, followed by two months of gorgeous weather. Gardeners in South Dakota learn early to invest in tarps to cover their squash and tomatoes!

This spring has been more regular. The temperatures have very slowly risen, with a day or two of lovely spring like weather thrown in here and there, but nothing constant enough to cause us to do anything but clear out what we didn’t get to last fall, and to wait for a sunny day to apply some necessary weed control. DH and I are not proponents of herbicides, but we got a batch of manure that was full of noxious weed seeds; with thistles sporting three foot long roots in spite of me pulling them last year. They choke out grass and vegetables alike, so war must be declared! Therefore, we are applying a small amount of RoundUp, which is a contact only herbicide, followed by a layer of cardboard, and finally compost. I will use a paintbrush to deal with those that migrated into the iris patch, painting the individual plants I want to kill. 

Because the temperatures have prevented applying weed control AND planting, we have been working around the edges, so to speak. That has included taking down the fence on the old squash patch and the east border fence on our original garden. We will set some larger posts in the corners and then redo the fence. The old squash patch will become tomatoes, and instead of cages we will run some cattle panels in a few rows. They provide a grid for the plants to climb on, but are much easier to store during the winter. 

I am itching to get something planted, so time has moved slowly. We had snow last Tuesday, then cold and cloudy weather early this week, but only rain. We are now headed for a week or more of highs in the  60’s and 70’s , so I believe that spring has finally sprung!  

Today has been lovely, so Max and even the citrus spent the day outside! Our lemon trees have survived the widnter, along with three grapefruit seedlings. Yesterday we started a pineapple, and today two avocados. Unfortunately, we haven’t hit upon any orange seeds yet, but we have two limes sitting out, and a mango in the fridge, waiting patiently. The success of the citrus has spurred DH on to attempt all the above. 😊

This afternoon I discovered that our sunflowers have started sprouting, so we have, at long last, the beginning this year’s garden! Tomorrow they will go outside permanently and we’ll transplant them into their permanent home in a week or two.


 At last today the dirt people called, and our 4 tons 😱 of compost will arrive tomorrow, so the weekend will be spent doing a ton of work, literally! We visited the cardboard recycle bin this afternoon and picked up nearly a third of the cardboard we’ll need for this effort.

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10 thoughts on “Spring at Last?

  1. 4 tons of compost! Whoa! That’s a huge amount.
    Your citrus looks great! We’ve grown lemon trees a few times but we can’t get them through the winter with more than a couple of leaves.
    Enjoy spring! I hope you don’t have any more snow:)

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    1. DH hopes that will go 4-6 inches deep on the whole garden which is 14 X 40 and 20×20, so it’s pretty big. No worries about how much dessert I eat this weekend! I think we are truly done with the snow now, at least I hope we are!

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  2. I’m exhausted, just reading about the work ahead of you! We haven’t planted much yet either and it’s very wet and cool her. When the sun finally shines, we will have a lot to do to get caught up!

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    1. I’m exhausted already!😆 DH was gone on a job this am, and I
      My job was to move stuff out of the way of the wheelbarrow path. I moved a small stack of bricks, dug out some planters, and moved the pallet and new strawberry barrels away from the ole fence edge and I think I need a snack! It is all cleaned out now, so I am ready for the dump truck to arrive. I feel like I’ve started weight training!!

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  3. Wow,your temps are so different from mine here…. 100 is something we see rather often on the thermometer. We have already seen 92 just a few days ago . Have fun playing in the dirt.😀

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  4. Oh Kathy I hope you didn’t just jinx yourself and get a bizarre blizzard!! Spring is finally acting like spring here in the North East. For the past few years we’ve had about 3 days of spring weather and then jumps straight to hot humid summer. Our current forecast is for 5 straight days of rainy weather – great for crochet and napping, not so much for anything else. My grass is going to be 3 feet high before I can get out and mow! Have fun playing in the dirt all weekend!! 😀

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