I’m flummoxed. I have always been a zone 5 micro climate in a zone 4 area. We live in a river valley with benefits of amazing soil and great solar exposure coupled with good drainage and plenty of water. The down side has been getting killing frosts earlier and later than anybody else in town. The last couple of years however, have seen some changes. We have not had the winter lows in the – 20’s that we are used to, we have much lower snow covers than in the past and spring has come earlier than ever. So what’s a gardening girl to do? I guess I will believe it’s spring and plant the early crops but save some seed, just in case.

I started my tomatoes, brassicas, peppers and lots of herbs. They are doing well in the greenhouse but the basil is really slowed down by temps under 50 which means I should bring them inside at night. I just checked the temp and it’s 31 degrees. I don’t have the heart to look at the tomato sets. They are doing great, gifts from Andrea in Ohio, and it will break my heart to lose them. I know where this is likely going. Just as I think I’m safe, we will get a nasty frost and lose well established plants. Gardening is not for the faint of heart.

We are putting in the peas tomorrow. We are investing in heavy-duty wire and metal poles so we don’t have problems with sagging fences and rotted posts. I am trying some new soil amendments this year. I got 100 pounds of rock minerals and some mushroom stuff you mix with water. We also got a clover seed for a cover crop. The more gardening I do, the more I realize I am growing soil first and food second. When the peas come out, the market crop of basil will go in that spot.

I have nearly doubled my garden area. We can easily use triple the amount of peas we grew last year. I just hope we don’t get three feet of snow before we are ready to harvest.

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