Planting Peas and Lettuce
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…
This day in February brought crisp, bold sunbeams and bright, blue skies. Each vibrant ray of late winter sunlight conveyed encouragement, enlightenment of spirit, and hope for the renewal that will come with spring.
According to regional recommendations(University of Tennessee planting guide for cool weather crops PDF), mid-February is the time in Middle Tennessee for planting early, cold-weather crops. It is a time when gardeners build anticipation for those first tender shoots that will emerge from the damp, dark earth as seedlings raise their heads to the sun after a long winter’s dormancy.
Because the day was so beautiful, and I could not contain my enthusiasm for sowing the first seeds of the season, I enlisted the help of my daughters to clear away the dead weeds and grasses from the garden trellis. Remnants of last year’s cucumber vines were detached, and a rotted mat of straw and mulch was removed to uncover the lush, verdant soil beneath.
After all the debris was raked away, I made small holes in which to drop tiny English peas into. Little helping hands nestled a seed into each hole. And then, the peas were covered over with a light blanket of loam.
We mixed ashes from the woodstove, aged manure, and composted soil to make a rich planting medium to fill a small raised bed for planting lettuce. (The stoneware flower pot covers a tarragon plant that has successfully overwintered. I did not want little helping hands disturbing the tiny tendrils that are emerging from the roots to peek at the sun. So, I covered it with this pot until the planting was done. )
After the seeds were planted, I began gathering my tools. The girls had skipped off to gather little winter blossoms and leaves and pine cones, which they gathered into the stoneware flowerpot that had sheltered my tarragon as we planted. I was greatly surprised at the beauty of their sweet little weed bouquet! We brought it in the house to grace our dinner table. Even in the dead of late winter, there is abundant life and beauty if you will just look for it!
There are still packets of spinach and kale to plant on another day…
and of course onions, and turnip greens, and potatoes to buy and plant…
Oh, joy! Oh, joy!
|With the coming of spring, I am reminded that we must be transformed by renewing the spirit of our minds. (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23-32) Just as my daughters and I cleared away the dead grasses and leaves in order for new growth to emerge, so we must clear away those things in our lives that choke out life…|