Spring Has Sprung Or So They Say... - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 324335

Swampy's Kitchen

Spring Has Sprung or so they say... 
Mar. 25, 2014 12:34 pm 
Updated: Mar. 27, 2014 8:55 am

This weekend when it actually warmed up into the 60’s for a few hours (it’s supposed to snow again later today) I went outside and got to play in my garden for a little while. It was nice to actually see the topsoil instead of snow. It was nice to be able to actually open my fence without having to dig out a couple of feet of snow on either side. It was nice to feel the winter dirt clods breaking up as I pulled the rake through the fireplace ashes I had spread around. It was nice to start to formulate a plan of attack for this year’s garden. I just have to remember that Spring may have sprung around most of the country but it’s nowhere near ready to sprung in my little patch of green.

I have said it before and I will say it again, when it comes to my garden, moderation is the key to success. Now someone please remember to remind me I said that come the third week in May when I have overplanted my tomatoes & peppers not to mention my squash, peas, beans, peas, lettuce & beets. I get the itch early every spring and I wind up planting before or on Mother’s Day and every year, a killing frost comes out of nowhere to wipe out my crops. So I overplant again and leave the survivors because they were tough but also knowing full well they won’t do a thing other than take up space & water and probably spread blight & disease. I truly am a terrible farmer.

So are you starting to feel the urge to have the dirt slipping through your fingers ? Has the Polar Vortex finally let go of your patch of green ? Do you live somewhere where it never gets cold so you can grow whatever you want whenever you want so all of us living in cold pockets up north can hate you ? (I may have rambled a bit there)

And come back next time when I corral my scattered thoughts and plant them into a real blog that talks about pertinent things like how great a vacation we had and how I had to literally carry my family onto the plane when it was finally time to leave. 

Mar. 25, 2014 1:05 pm
Doug, shame on you for teasing me :)
Mar. 25, 2014 1:19 pm
Today is cloudy with a chance of sprinkles. (We are keeping our finger crossed that it actually rains, but I doubt it.) My patch of green needs water!
Mar. 25, 2014 2:09 pm
middle georgia- looks like spring,however it will AGAIN be 26 degrees in the am- boo- i want to waer my flip-flops!!!
Mar. 25, 2014 2:25 pm
Went out in the back yard today to cut down winter kill and pull weeds. It felt good to be outside, today. Sorry you are still in the ebb of winter.
Mar. 25, 2014 2:37 pm
OK, you've got me thinking. I've never tried growing eats here in the high desert of California. I just might do some container eats this year. Thanks for encouraging me.
Deb C 
Mar. 25, 2014 4:11 pm
I’m glad I’m not the only one that overplants Doug! I’ve got a few things started in my south facing window waiting for the last frost date. I did a little garden all winter (using a plastic cloche), but all that remains now is parsley. I’m pleasantly surprised it survived this wicked winter.
Mar. 25, 2014 7:37 pm
I miss zone 7B. South Jersey was a great climate in which to garden. What I don't miss are the rampant weeds, soil that closely resembles beach sand, a higher population density of deer than people, and the bane of my existence: voles. I envy your early start as I am now living in zone 4B and will be very lucky to start my peas by early April. I think last frost is April 20 or so here in the frozen paradise called Minnesnowta.
Mar. 25, 2014 8:35 pm
Hi Doug! Just the discussion of gardens makes me happy, knowing warm weather can't be too far off. I have my pots all scrubbed and sanitized and bought soil the other day, now to get the terrace cleaned up, the sand swept up and my shelves restored. Of course, it is snowing as I type this.
Mar. 25, 2014 8:38 pm
Doug, I heard rumors you escaped the cold and went to Hawaii. I think you are having flashbacks of a warm place across the Pacific Ocean. Spill the beans please.
Mar. 25, 2014 10:29 pm
I moved to townhome recently so my garden will consist of some pots. It is amazing what we can grow in the desert :) PS Come to my LV roundup May 17th!!!
Mar. 25, 2014 10:47 pm
Doug, it may never really get COLD here, but alas, I've not yet figured out when to plant stuff that it won't burn up in the heat of summer, or get frosted in the winter! I do currently have scallions grwoing, and some leaf lettuce - in a pot, that is! Perhaps there's hope for me yet! Be well!
Mar. 26, 2014 5:32 am
fresh snow on the ground here. The seed tray are all gathered together and picking out our seeds now May 1st the snow peas go in and then it is open season after that.
Mar. 26, 2014 9:26 am
duboo - do you wanna build a snowman ? I saw your yard - yikes.
Mar. 26, 2014 9:28 am
Hi BN - we didn't get the snow up here yesterday or last night but today we have winds out of the NW that are downright chilly and with all the snow we had, I don't think water will ever be an issue.
Mar. 26, 2014 9:29 am
Who says you can't wear flip flops in the snow nanny ? I am pretty sure I did once but then again, I can't remember 1987 so who knows if I did or not ?
Mar. 26, 2014 9:31 am
Hi Bibi - it does feel good to be outside today even if there is a bit of a nip in the air. I'm itching to do more than turn dirt and cut things back but I know I have to wait.
Mar. 26, 2014 9:32 am
bd - if I can grow stuff, you can grow stuff too. I used to have a garden in the middle of the woods. Scraggly tomato plants and tiny peppers but somehow it worked. Good luck
Mar. 26, 2014 10:40 am
Hi Deb C - I am sure if someone were to go back to each of my annual spring garden blogs they would find my pledge to not overplant. I have better luck with New Year's Resolutions.
Mar. 26, 2014 10:44 am
Hey Doc - glad to see you were able to thaw out your typewriter. You may actually see your grass again before I see that apple but we are getting closer. Soil up in my North NJ area is rocky clay. It has taken a few years of topsoil, manure, mulch & whatnot to get it to where it is now. Luckily the deer haven't hopped the fence....yet.
Mar. 26, 2014 10:49 am
Hi BSM - we avoided the snow last night. I have started sketching out my plots and numbering the plants. Like a pool estimate, the actual # will probably be 3X higher. Happy Spring.
Mar. 26, 2014 5:38 pm
Illinois is just confused. It gets warm then it cools off and some of Duboo's snow blows over here. Hubby started flowers in the basement. There is hope of spring.
Mar. 27, 2014 5:35 am
Good morning - got sidetracked by a hockey game as I was answering yesterday....yes the rumors are true. We spent a much too short time on Maui. The most touristy thing we did was go to Hilo Hattie. The rest of the time we sat on the beach and found local dives for dinner. It was very Ono.
Mar. 27, 2014 5:38 am
Good morning julie - I will be very interested to see what you grow this year. Our deck is concrete and in full sun all day in the summer so I would love to know what works in the heat since my wife likes to have a couple of pots close to the house too. Vegas may be tough that weekend but I will see what we can do.
Mar. 27, 2014 5:42 am
Morning Stevie - where there is a will, there is a way. Somehow I once got a cactus to bloom in my first post-college apartment so there is hope for gardeners everywhere. Have a great day.
Mar. 27, 2014 5:45 am
Good morning Joey J - the snow skipped North Jersey but we had bitter winds yesterday instead. I suppose I could pop some peas & beans into the ground in a few weeks and not worry too much about frost. Guess I better order some topsoil & manure sooner than later.
Mar. 27, 2014 5:48 am
Good morning Magnolia Blossom - my sister is out your way and I am not sure if they have dug out yet since we havent heard from her in a while. I just know I want to whack upside the head the groundhog living under my shed for the past six weeks of weather.
Mar. 27, 2014 6:34 am
No winter to speak of here in Fallbrook, my garden was planted three weeks ago and I will pick my first radishes today. Tomatoes and cucumbers are growing like crazy, the blackberries and boysenberries got confused in January and set fruit, my lemon and orange trees are loaded. The only thing that didn't do so well were the cherimoya trees, but we got enough to share with the neighbors. Yes, I am spoiled, but keep in mind that I have to get out there and weed all year long!
Mar. 27, 2014 8:55 am
Hi Susan - I was jealous until you said you had to weed all year long. I have usually given up by mid-August....and I love boysenberries but all I have are 3 different kinds of raspberries. Have a great day.
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Doug Matthews

Home Town
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Living In
Mendham, New Jersey, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2000

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Healthy, Kids, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Charity Work

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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