Sunday, March 1, 2015


A report from here on the beginning of March.

Normally by March first there would be a faint hint of spring in the air. With the brighter mornings and a little more light longer into the late afternoon, the air would have some dampness and the snow would be mushy. I'd be checking for the appearance of snowdrops in the warm protected corner of the front walk.
Report: Not this year. It was 0 degrees when I got up Saturday and single digits this morning. Snow is on the way tonight. The air is sharply cold and the snowpack deep and mighty. Thank goodness for that -- at least all the tender plants under three feet tall are well protected from night after night of sub freezing temperatures.

Normally by March first I would be deep in catalogs and spreadsheets, writing up my plans for spring. What to order, where to put stuff, lists of ideas I probably wouldn't implement and pages of sources for the plants I want. It's a part of gardening that I love -- the planning.
Report: Not yet this year. I just haven't gotten to it. I will.

Normally by March first solar panels facing into the strengthening sun would be totally clear, even if there is snow on the ground. The early March sun is intensifying and easily melts roof snow.
Report: Aaarrggh . .  . it just won't melt. There are 25 panels up there and only the top right two are open. All winter we have been without solar power. Snow has covered them since the first snowfall in December and it never melted. The panels we see around town on other people's homes are clear the day after each storm. Ours have never been clear all winter, and it's March already. 

Normally by the beginning of March I would be getting seed packs ready to start some seeds indoors. Each year I have started annuals inside. I have two light stands and the fun of seed starting is the endless tending and watching and misting and seeing little green shoots come up in March.
Report: Not this year. We will be away later in March for almost two weeks, so it doesn't make sense to start them now. And my seed starting hasn't been all that successful. They do come up great, but then I don't really get any advantage when transplanting -- the transplants and the seeds I sow directly outdoors in May do about the same. Indoor seed starting seems messy and labor intensive for the same result as outdoor sowing.

Normally by the first of March sap buckets appear on the sugar maples along Duncaster Road and the red haze of early flower buds on the red maples start to color the early March sky.
Report: Not so much this year. You need consistent days above freezing and nights below in order to create the push and pull and freeze and thaw that makes the sap run. It's been too cold. And the red maples are in bud and will surely flower, but they're holding tight right now.

There you go. That's the report from here.

Up to March 1 it has been a little on the chilly side, and by "chilly" I mean "coldest February on record in Connecticut".

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