It's time to seed the beds with snap peas, radishes, beets, carrots, and spinach. Winter's wait created time for reflection about how this year's growing season might be distinctive. Now the ideas that emerged from such considerations can be put into action.
We've never been able to get our peas past the stage of seedlings without having had them chewed on by rabbits or birds or both. So this year we'll fence them in and cover them.
Taking steps to gradually replace the lawn with vegetable and fruiting plants has occupied us each year as well. This year, we've targeted previously grassy patches beneath our deck for strawberry transplants. Doing so will eliminate some dicey spots where mowing long presented a challenge. And those spaces will eventually burst with sweet, juicy, red fruit!
Because one works a garden space so closely, walking through it while it is still brown calls up memories of what had occurred in different seasons with different planting approaches. One learns from what worked and what didn't go so well.
We're not formally trained gardeners — we learn by doing, by reading, and by talking with others. Our classrooms are the beds and the grounds around our trees and bushes.
The garden has taught us and our kids many lessons about spacing, timing, feeding, watering, pruning, and when it is the right moment to harvest.
With spring, a new term that will bring forth new insights has arrived.
Blogger and Oak Park resident Rich Kordesh is the author of "Restoring Power to Parents and Places" and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit his website for more.