Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Cold Spring

My life in appalachia Cold Spring

I believe all my talk of spring last week-made old man winter mad. This week he’s decided to come back to western NC with a flurry of snow, wind, and freezing temps.

I went back in the Blind Pig & The Acorn archives to see what I was doing this week last March. I had lettuce and spinach growing in the garden-and a greenhouse full of growing tomato plants.

This March-I have nothing in the greenhouse-not one thing! Weekend before last Chitter helped me plant some lettuce, radishes, and beets. But I haven’t even checked to see if they’ve come up yet. I’m afraid all the consecutive nights of below freezing temperatures may have been to much for even the spring veggies.

On the bright side-hopefully the colder spring has kept the apple trees-blueberries-and grapes from budding out too soon and getting bit like they did last year.

How about at your place-any gardening yet?


p.s. Even though I’m worried about the garden-I am totally not complaing about the snow-I love it!

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    March 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    So far, I agree with a strange spring. Sometimes, I guess, Mother Nature must keep us guessing.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Have had some freezing weather the last few nights and some folks that have started gardens have lost some of their plants. Do hope it’s about over and warmer weather will really be here soon.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I hope we actually have spring & not just suddenly have hot, hot, hot summer. Got my lettuce planted but it’s not up yet.

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo aka Granny Sal
    March 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

    My sister and I used to try and “hurry” the warm weather by putting on our bathing suits (unbeknownst to the adults) and going down to wade in the creek.
    Spring has just gotta come soon.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    March 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Tipper, everyone here in Columbia, SC is complaining bitterly about how cold it still is, but afternoons are brightening. Nature is cooperating with Easter and come Sunday, we will have broken out blooming all over, with redbud, azaleas, and forsythia everywhere. I can remember late March ice storms,so we really don’t have that much to complain about. I am waiting until next week to start serious gardening.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    NOTHING in the garden yet, but hopefully it won’t be long. We’re having a BP supper tonight: Granny’s soup will hit the spot as it is still very cold here. Our dessert will be Pap’s sweet bread (YUM!) with peaches Granny Mandy canned. Of course, BP music will play in the background. I am really looking forward to supper today!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I’d like to tell Charles that I do
    remember my daddy talking about a
    big snow almost 20 years before I
    got here.
    I love the Snow, but this one has
    waited till Spring to drop me 10″
    up in my hollar. Ain’t even got my
    garden plowed yet, been too wet
    anyway. But I did hear lots of
    birds singing this morning…Ken

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 10:59 am

    With all this crazy weather how will we know when it is blackberry winter and dogwood winter and redbud winter and all the little winters that I usually look forward to? Not this time. I just want some full on spring so I can open the door and windows and clean the winters worth of wood stove dirt out of my house. Only ones happy here are the cats while they lay by the fire.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    March 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Only got potatoes planted here. I’ve got lettuce seed but not sown it yet. My Granny was telling me about how one year they had a frost the 2nd week of June and it killed nearly everything they had planted and they had to start over. I love the snow too but I sure hope we don’t have a June Frost.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 10:34 am

    B-I loved your gardening log : ) I never even thought about checking on the hummingbirds migration. Sounds like they know spring is running late this year LOL! And I’m with you-a normal summer would be nice after last years soaring temperatures. So I’ll try not to offend Summer LOL!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    March 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I so didn’t mean to write a gardening log. So sorry folks!
    Sometimes my feeble mind goes off on a path of its own…
    The hens think it’s spring and laying everyday.
    Also, I wanted to ask you Tipper if your Button Bush is blooming, the ones we have along the fence row (single bloom ones) are about bloomed out. They always bloom early. The double one and the Flowering Almond in the Secret Garden are budding, so they are later.
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS again…I saw a flock of our birds carrying suitcases, that said, “Florida or bust”…I was so hoping they would give our weather another week or so and not move further south!!!

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    March 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

    The cold spring hasn’t kept the Daffodils or Crocus (in February) from blooming. Also, the Daylilies are getting taller each day. Their bloom date is between
    May 15 and June 15, so they are right on time. The Iris bloom between April 15 and May 15 so they are also rolling along. Of course there are always some earlier and later species. The Star Magnolia always blooms early and it is right on time. The big purple one is in bud. After last two nights of below freezing dips in temperature, I am afraid later today after the sun come out for a while, I will begin to see brown edges.
    In the cities where it is warmed and held by buildings and asphalt, I noticed Bradford pears in full bloom, as well as some crab apples. Mine are budding…
    The Forsynthia is in full bloom. I keep hoping after this spell is over, we move on to warmer spring-like warm weather. Nothing planted here in but what was left over from last year. We haven’t even got lettuce, radishes, or onions in. We have been pulling a turnip or two out of the cold ground, rushing in to give it a wash, slicing it, salting it and munching on the cold tasty thing. Boy, I love those cold turnips…
    Maybe we will get to turnover the
    raised beds soon.
    I checked on the Hummingbird migration site. The only ones that have shown up so far are a few reported in the East Coast of North Carolina and South Carolina.
    In fact they are later this year in AL, GA and of course Tennessee.
    Mine usually are here by Azalea and Rhodie blooming time…Could you make a cold frame inside your greenhouse to start your petunias and tomatoes? After we lowered the boom on our greenhouse, I started plants in cups in front of the sliding glass door windows. Tried to keep them cooler so they wouldn’t bolt and damp off. Most times, the peppers and tomatoes did OK…Since we don’t plant a big garden anymore the betterhalf just purchases plants…
    Oh yeah, whatever you do, please,
    please do not make summer mad at us…I would just love a normal old timey summer with just a few blackberry pickin’ hot days…
    Thanks Tipper, PS…It sure looks like you got everything ready to grow!…..Ha, catch it Go/Grow!!
    Oh well, I thought it was a funny of sorts!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I haven’t even thought about starting anything, yet. Casper made some really cool planter boxes that will be on my deck because I just can’t do a real garden anymore. Can’t wait to see how they work. I loved the snow this week. It snowed ALL day but didn’t stick. You got the beauty of the snow coming down but none of the mess snow can cause.

  • Reply
    steve in tn
    March 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

    we get so anxious in the spring it is hard to remember that the growing season is long. and there is plenty of time for most gardens to produce until we have plenty. it will be hard on some sring veggies…sorry…i dont have much luck with then in west tn anyway.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I found some Cherokee Purple Tomato seeds online and got them planted in cups two weeks ago. I placed them by a window on the south side of the house for the perfect amount of sunshine. What sunshine?! A few have popped up with the help of artificial light. Yeah, maybe these cold and gloomy days will pay off when we have some fruit this year.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Three couples starting our first vege garden, community style. I’m a Certified Florida Master Gardener … got the book knowledge, but no practical experience. We decided not to stress out, just have fun and if it’s a failure, we’ll have learned a lot and will do better with our fall garden. pH tested, ground prepared, and planting this weekend — tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, cucs, peas, squash, okra, radishes, melons, sage, basil, oregano and of course milkweed, sunflowers, nasturtiums and marigolds for pollinators. Wish us luck!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 27, 2013 at 8:39 am

    We have no snow here in Florida, but it was 41 when I got up this am. Too cold for me without the added benefit of snow!

  • Reply
    Vernon Kimsey
    March 27, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Haven’t been able to plow with all the rain. Tomatoes started indoors just waiting to go outside. No cold weather beets or radishes planted yet!!!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2013 at 8:26 am

    It was 28 degrees this morning at my house in Louisiana. It has been below freezing every day this week so far. Sure hope this is our Easter snap and warm weather will return this next week. I haven’t seen any dog wood trees blooming this year yet and they are almost always some blooming by Easter here. Hope your plants survived the cold!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 27, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I don’t garden so all my complaints about the weather revolve around personal comfort both physical and mental. I don’t like to be cold so I fuss when the temperatures are extremely cold for too many days. I expect spring to be spring, a gentle transition from cold to warm weather. This is not a gentle transition!
    I have other thing I could fuss about but I think this is enough for one day and I’m sure no one wants to hear it….I know I don’t. lol

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 27, 2013 at 7:46 am

    My hopes of my son-in-law bringing his bobcat and clearing more wilderness have been splattered on the ground. If his daddy up in Linville needs something he is gone like a rocket. If I ask for something six months in advance, when the time comes he is too busy or sick or something needs to be fixed. But such is life. So I have been out on a couple warm days with my shovel, rake and grub hoe fighting the battle alone. But the satisfaction will be much the greater knowing I did it myself.
    Let me qualify “alone.” There have been other people present. Namely Dusty and whoever happened to be on the other end of his cell phone at the time.

  • Reply
    Charles Fletcher
    March 27, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Sorry–Forgot the 8 foot snowdrifts we had.

  • Reply
    Charles Fletcher
    March 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I wander who remembers thespring of March 1936? I remembe it well . All about the record snow that spring.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    March 27, 2013 at 7:30 am

    No gardening here, but it is 7:30 AM and the temperature in Jupiter, FL on March 27 is 45 degrees! Tain’t right!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    March 27, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I have some tomato plants started inside, but other then that its been too rainy or snowy and cold to even think of doing anything outside. I’m more then ready when the time is right though … I miss my outside work!

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