Saturday, October 24, 2020

Forced March


The day was not ideal -but was it ever going to be? I mean, at least the wind was a breeze and the temperature above 30°. As far as I could tell it was the best day out of the following ten or the previous three. Sleet and graupel, thunder and lightning, snow, wind and temps dropping to ten degrees forced me to plant in the snow on a day more like March than October.


 I tilled last Sunday before I knew for sure what was coming and that tilling modestly displaced the snow so that I could mostly make out my rows. The little hump in the top center is a few kale I left in place should things change and another few leaves can be eaten.

Despite the drought this year, several heads of garlic sized up well and even when they didn't, there were plenty of large cloves. Above, Porcelain variety named "Music," a well known large garlic. My other Porcelain is the strain known as "Armenian."

wheel dib
The real trouble was the snow drenched soil which, as the image of my wheel dib should tell, clung hardily to my gloves and glued the cloves large and small to it! The weight of the accumulating goo slowly pulled my glove away from my fingers, disabling dexterity and my attempts to push the glove back with the slick left handed glove were fruitless. The soil, wet and cold, clung to soaked gloves made for cold hands, but that was the worst of it. I completed the project in a scant three hours if I cut the clove popping done in the morning from the calculation.

Garlic patch 
I’ve reduced my garlic count this year to about 500 -my lowest count since my first year growing garlic. At the end of the day, the patch looked like I had a fight with a tub of Oreos cookies and cream, but was glad to be done and not out there today or any of the days to come. 
I still have, ahem, a few projects sitting unfinished under snow. I'm holding out for a brief warm up that I tend to think will come whenever the temperature drops so incongruous with the season. So, some porch work this November, or if I am lucky, just before Halloween? Scary thought is how many things sit under the snow that were near completion or that I thought I could get to, but simply couldn't, by dint of weather and age.


  1. I'm encountering the related but much more minor effects of the rain we have had so far this Fall when I dig and pull out the tenacious weeds that have taken over a sizeable area of what was our only lawn. The gooey, muddy sludge gets heavier and more slippery every day, even though there has been no rain for a week. There also are so many projects that I have not been able to get to, for the same reasons and because I first must figure out how to do them. (Most were delegated to my spouse, who died unexpectedly recently.) Liked "the patch looked like I had a fight with a tub of Oreos cookies and cream," Leslie in Oregon

  2. What a place we live. As you battle cold and snow, Virginia was enjoying - and, yes, that is the exact word - three more weeks of high 70's and and 80 or two. It gave me time to lay out a whole new bed, put in edging, plant, and put in the above-ground irrigation. then you bring me back to earth to acknowledge how good I have it here. Hope the garlic crop is bumper this year. You deserve it!

  3. Oh no! So sorry to hear this, Leslie. I shall not commiserate about gooey mud when there are more serious issues of life and death at stake. Take care.

  4. Webb, as it turned out, my instinct was correct. We went from 9 degrees F and record snow in mid October to near record warmth in early November and no snow, no rain even, for weeks now, temps hovering at or above average in the mid 30s to mid 40s and I am able to complete my projects. Amazing.