Spring Comes Early, I Think

Despite the calendar that says spring arrives next week, I think it has arrived early this year. At least, I guess it’s spring that has arrived. It’s hard to tell, when we really didn’t have much of a winter.

We were talking with one of our neighbors this weekend and he asked if our asparagus was coming up (his was). Asparagus in March? As soon as we got home we had to rush out to check, and sure enough, ours was coming up too. I can’t remember when it made an appearance this early. The first asparagus of the year is always a welcome sight to me!

asparagus shoots (click on any image to enlarge)

But I shouldn’t be surprised. Spring is all around us. Our lone forsythia bush is blooming. That’s a sure sign of spring.

forsythia blooming

And the dwarf flowering cherry trees out front are opening as well. They’ll look like little snowballs when all the blossoms open up.

flowering cherry blossoms

The bees are convinced it’s spring. They’re keeping busy bringing in pollen and nectar from early sources. In the photo below, the arrows point to bees loaded up with pollen in the ‘baskets’ located on their legs.

bees with pollen

Spring means it’s time for more chores in the garden. I cleaned out the bed with the overwintered onions today, then added a little organic fertilizer. This is the Walla Walla variety I planted back in mid October. I’ve got another bed ready for planting some spring onions shortly.

overwintered onions

Now I need to clean out the bed with the overwintered spinach. In addition to the spinach, it’s full of chickweed and dead nettle. I predict the spinach will be bolting in a couple of weeks, so I guess I don’t have to be too thorough with my weeding. It will be replanted with something else soon enough. We have certainly enjoyed having spinach all winter, weeds or not.

weedy spinach

The bed with garlic is considerably less weedy. The straw mulch helped keep the weeds down, no doubt. This is the experimental bed with the 8″ spacing. We will see if that results in larger bulbs. Behind the garlic you can see some leftover fall turnips that are flowering already. And if you look closely you can see a sea of dead nettle blooming!

garlic bed with 8" spacing

One other sure sign it’s really spring is an almost finished bluebird nest in one of the PVC nest boxes. Mama bluebird built it in record time, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some eggs laid in there very soon. I’m guessing this is the same pair that nested here last year.

bluebird nest in PVC nest box

I know we will have some more cold weather before March is over, but in the meantime we are enjoying the spring-like weather here. I don’t know when summer weather will arrive, but I’m in no hurry just yet!

 

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17 Responses to Spring Comes Early, I Think

  1. Jenny says:

    Very nice! Love first spring blooms and early asparagus is beautiful! I guess we’re couple of weeks behind the schedule here but hope to see some new growth too!

  2. Marcia says:

    We have spring here too. The bluebirds are keeping close tabs on the birdhouse but no nesting there yet. Daffodils are blooming and there are green sprouts of various things in the flower beds. Yes, chores await.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Nice looking nest! I am about done building a bluebird house and am hoping I am getting it up in time. We had some bluebirds around last year and are hoping to attract some to nest. 🙂

  4. Jody says:

    Ever since you pointed out last year how much you like to see asparagus, a sure sign of spring, we’ve been checking ours every day lately. So far nuthin’. I’ve got around 60 Mary Washington asparagus seed starts inside that are just waiting for the first shoots to appear outside. As soon as I see them, there going out! Happy Spring Dave. Things look wonderful around your place today!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Jody! I’ll bet yours will be popping up shortly. We’re running about 3 weeks ahead of schedule this year.

  5. Liz says:

    I will be very interested in your garlic results. I sow my garlic pretty close together and will be interested to see if a wider spacing makes a difference. Space being at a premium in my garden I’m keen to cram things in but not at the expense of garlic clove size.

    • Dave says:

      I planted one bed at my usual 6″ spacing, and the other at 8″. I will share the results when the harvest is in.

  6. Ali says:

    I’m curious about your garlic, too. My cloves were a good size, but I’m still working on the timing. I need to harvest it earlier than I have been, which will mean small heads. How to you fertilize yours?

    • Dave says:

      Ali, I’m still working on the timing and fertilizer too! Before planting I amended my beds with compost, bone meal, and some organic fertilizer (5-3-3).

  7. kitsapFG says:

    Spring definitely looks like it is busting out at your location. The forsythia blooming has always been a herald of spring. We have flowering cherry trees all over our neighboring communities ( a very popular landscaping item in this region) and they are blooming profusely right now. For me, the early indicator that spring is arriving is the emergence of my rhubarb. They are not only up, but unfurling the first full leaves.

  8. Robin says:

    Spring seems to be arriving much earlier this year. I just hope that we don’t get a late hard frost. You never know.

  9. Mike says:

    My asparagus is still covered in snow but under one of our row covers the spinach looks very similar to yours, sharing its winter bed with chickweed.:) Enjoy the nice weather.

  10. Lots of signs of spring! Walla Wallas are one of my favorites, and did well here last year. Some of our spinach, and even our overwintered broccoli, bolted in the last couple of weeks. It seemed to skip being mature, and went straight to seed, no doubt due to our lack of rain, and absurdly nice weather for so early in the year. The entire garden seems confused this year. It’s ok though, I’ll just feed it to the chickens, and plant my next round of spring greens a little earlier than I intended. Our garlic this year looks to be behind, but again, that’s probably the dry weather holding it back. It’s exciting to see another bluebird nest ready to go. Is this early for them too?

    • Dave says:

      Yes, it’s definitely early for the bluebirds. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. Early nests like this will usually fail if the weather turns cold.

  11. Mike Adams says:

    Beautiful garden pictures! I didn’t know that you guys had bees. Very cool!

  12. Bavaria says:

    The garlic looks great! I’m trying a new method with mine…..planting close in the fall and then harvesting every other one in the spring for garlic greens, leaving the others to mature with generous spacing.

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