Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Sings the Garden Song

Nothing grows on the dark side of the moon. Come to think of it, nothing grows on the moon at all, but sometimes it feels like we’re planting our gardens in outer space when seeds don’t sprout, tomato plants don’t grow, cucumbers become infested with worms and the lettuce wilts. Even the most cold hearted gardener has to fight back tears when his or her plants decide to take the eternal dirt nap.

So it’s early in the gardening season. Most people haven’t even planted their first round of crops (save for the lucky ones in the southernmost regions of the States). But the looming fear of failure is already a palpable force for gardeners of every skill level. Between unassuming little bunnies and microscopic bugs, between nitrogen and potassium, there are so many unknown variables.

And when the first seeds do sprout (they do for everyone but the most unfortunate gardeners), people everywhere will scratch their heads in wonder, “They do it every year, and it always comes as a surprise.” Green life breaking forth from the ground is a joyful mystery.

Before everything gets hot, sticky, bug riddled and crusty dry, gardeners may want to take this last moment to envision the glories of first sprouting. Harvest is a long time away. With it, the sadness of yet another winter comes. In the meantime, we’re all entering into the best season. Spring has sprung. It’s the only time of year—the middle two weeks of March—when people can see the red breasted robin flying dodging zags through falling snowflakes.

The herald of spring has sung her sweet song, and though in some places, snow may be reluctant to pack his bags and leave, the trees will soon sprout their leaves and pour sap. The ground will thaw. This is our time.

Check the thermometer. There isn’t need for a motivational speaker. Planting is what we do. It’s what we’re about to do. We’ll dust off the blueprints and check each garden bed. We’ll double-check every plan to see that the crops are properly rotated.

We’ll thumb through the seed packages. The heat lamps and UV bulbs are about to be extinguished. The seedpods that have been sprouted ahead of time are trembling with excitement to meet the outdoors. Everything is in rhythm.

Gardening is not a race. It is not a competition. The garden is a lovely, lively expression of life. So we’ll let it live the way we ourselves want to live, enjoying every moment. Here’s to a fruitful sprouting and to forgetting about harvest, slugs, rabbits and a sweaty beating sun. June is a fine time to take stock of all those troubles. April is made for smiles.

About the Author
Jody Sperling is a contributing writer for the largest Vegetable Gardening page on Facebook. Join in the vegetable gardening conversation today with your Facebook account and find out how you can get 2 packs of vegetable seeds absolutely free.

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