High hopes for spring

It won’t be too long, and some good things will start popping up.

As in many households and farms, the annual tradition of sprinkling tiny seeds into trays of potting soil will soon be underway. Now is the time to start tomatoes, vines, cabbage and assorted plants which do far better transplanted once the ground warms up.

It is a job for little fingers and something we have enjoyed with the kids over the years. That process seems to be down pat and the trick of doing it all over a newspaper destined for recycling makes clean up so much easier.

Days later green or yellow shoots emerge and within a week or two the shape and number of leaves gives a good indicator of what the plant is. Seasoned gardeners know automatically but those new to witnessing this magic of nature might want to keep the used seed packet for reference or put a little note on cells.

All these years later, we still get a kick out of watching stuff grow, stretching and reaching for the sky.

The part we have not mastered yet is the trick of hardening plants. Very often what appear to be healthy happy plants, whither fairly quickly when exposed to the elements. This year calls for some new techniques – any advice sought and appreciated on that front.

We heartily suggest young families take up gardening and even if it is just pots on a patio, the miracles of nature will entertain all season. Very little beats a great big tomato sandwich or the crunch of fresh cucumbers. Everyone will have their taste of choice.

For those without time, there are ample market gardeners that attend farmer’s markets on the weekend. That bounty starts now.

As the snow recedes and the warm winds of spring approach, we can imagine others pacing back and forth as we find ourselves doing this time of year.

It is just a matter of time before that smell of spring hits the lungs and the warm rays of the sun rejuvenate the soul. Spring is just around the corner. Hallelujah.