It’s still February, but winter seems to be over for Virginia. At least, for my part of Virginia. The northern part, but not quite the suburban part. They say we could hit 70° this week. I’d call it a winter thaw, but that doesn’t seem right. It hasn’t exactly been winter around here yet…
But, this is more than a 70° forecast. The guys over at Capital Weather Gang seem to think that we’re done for the season in these parts. Their latest models are showing a warm end for February and a warm, well, everything for March in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Yep, peas. We usually wait until mid-March to start peas around here, but I’m soaking about two dozen pea seeds as I write this. The main crop will wait a few weeks, but these couple dozen seeds are going in the ground later today. Maybe tomorrow. Soon. Will they sprout? Oh, I hope so. I’m soaking them, because that’s supposed to speed up germination. And, I added some baking soda to the soak, because that’s supposed to help reduce the risk of fungus. I did the same thing when I prepped my garlic this fall, and it seemed to work great for them. So, here’s hoping.
I’m a big believer in starting my own seed, but I totally missed the window for starting onions and leeks this year. Plus — garden confession time — I’ve never really mastered the whole onions-from-seed thing. The books all say to plant them out when they’re the size of pencils. Ok, but. Well. Mine never seem to get fatter than bamboo skewers before it’s time to plant onions. Clearly, I’ve got to refine my onion seed-starting techniques. Or, start earlier. Or, well, something. In the meantime, it’s mail-order seedlings for me.
And, yesterday, I got the confirmation that my onions (and leeks) are on their way! Awesome! Except. Um. Crud. Haven’t prepared their bed yet. I suppose I know what gardening task just moved to the top of my to-do list.
Also, finally, seed swaps!
Back in January, a local gardening friend suggested we host a community seed swap. Now, it looks like we are actually going to do it! If you’re in the northern Virginia area, I hope you’ll stop by: March 4, from 1 – 3 pm. It’ll be an informal affair, in the lower level of one of our favorite local restaurants. I’ve got some more information here, and there’s also an invite on Facebook where you can RSVP and ask questions. This is a first for me and my friend, so we’re not exactly sure what to expect. If you’ve ever hosted or attended a seed swap, I’d love to hear about it. Just share your stories in the comment section below.
Between the onions, the peas, and the seed swap, it’s going to be a very busy couple of weeks. And, that’s just how I like it! Have you started your spring gardening projects? Anything in the ground yet?