Sunday, March 21, 2010

Plant Peas When Daffodils and Forsythia Bloom

I'm a little bit behind this year. Happily I do have a few green things making appearances on the shelves in the basement. And yesterday I actually planted some spinach, lettuce, carrots and parsnips in some of our beds. It was wonderful to get my hands dirty once again! One thing I still haven't managed to plant yet are peas. Saint Patrick's Day has come and gone, and still the peas are in their seed packets. Well, lucky for me I have an excuse: my forsythia isn't blooming yet! Nor are my daffodils. Those beauties pictured at the top are from last year. What's this got
to do with peas? Well, according to the science of phenology, forsythia and daffodil blooms indicate when the soil is the perfect temperature for peas to germinate. Phenology uses nature's own indicators as a timetable for when to plant instead of just sticking to a calendar. There are a few nice web sites here, here, and here that talk about phenology in more detail. There are even sites where you can participate by logging in your own observations, here for example. If you believe, as I do, that our climate is changing this would be an important project to participate in. And it sounds like it would be fun!

I plan to try and pay a bit more attention to Mother Nature's signals when I'm gardening this year. After all, Mother usually knows best!

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