The Wet, Cold, Spring Garden

In this part of the country, we can expect a late frost, and so tender vegetables don’t safely go into the ground until mid-May or even June. However, the rule of thumb is that as soon as the ground can be worked, cold-hardy seeds can be sown. Early in April, the snow melted off of my raised beds, and I was able to get kale, peas, carrots and lettuce in.

Usually, I seed those crops at least twice, a few weeks apart, in order to harvest over the course of the summer. But, we haven’t had any hot days to warm up the dirt. We have had a lot of cold rain. You don’t want to muck about in the garden in the muck – it will compact soil that you’ve so carefully fluffed up and nurtured with compost and a light hand. Because of that, most of my vegetable garden still looks like this:

garden bed


The seeds that I did sow in early April had a pitiful germination rate. Only about half of the snap peas have shown themselves. However, the shelling peas are looking okay.

shelling peas



The kale is just now braving the chilly spring.




Hopefully, by next week I’ll be able to plant more vegetables. Meanwhile, the one thing that this dreary spring weather is good for is grass. I’ve sectioned off the goat pasture, keeping the boys to one side. Yesterday I broadcast timothy seed onto the other.



Not that the goaties will suffer from hunger. They get their daily ration of hay, sweet feed every other day, I bring them greens, and I hand graze them a few times a week. Look at that belly!



The goats turned five on April 26. Dr. Sarah, their vet, came and gave them their yearly vaccines. I asked if they were, perhaps, a tad tubby. She said no! They’re just right. (The feeders to the left and right of the manger are for kelp and minerals, both essential to feed free-choice for the health of your goats.)


By the way- with the warmer weather, we leave the stall door open later. The goats like being out at night. So, don’t worry if you see them out after dark.

What’s growing in your garden?


  1. Hi Terry! I have a good crop of swiss chard that I have been selling because it is gorgeous this time around. My tomatoes are looking good and I have a ton of radishes and beets and cucumbers. Have had a hard time with carrots for some odd reason. Last year I had enough to sell…not this year.

  2. The most active thing here is the flock of red wing blackbirds. The wind has been howling and it is cold. The wheat fields have very poor germination because of drought, some areas had to be strip disked to reduce the dust blowing, which smothers the wheat downwind but does not do much for the area one works. Closer to buildings, the rhubarb is peeking and the asparagus was. I have not been out in the 40 to 50 mph winds to look. But at least we are not washing away as parts of the southeast are.

  3. I planted seeds on New Year’s Day and, while it took awhile for them to put on some good growth, now the garden is going gangbusters with kale, chard, peas, sugar snap peas, red and gold beets, and potatoes. I want to plant tomatoes and beans this weekend when it cools down. Forecast says 91 today and 65 on Saturday.

  4. Still wet and cool here too in SE Ontario, and it’s been raining for days now. The frost did finally leave the ground, but I have nothing planted yet. I got my garlic in late last fall, but it looks like that crop will be a big fail this season – nothing coming up. :-(

    • Thanks, Lori, for the link. I so need to update my “in the news” page. It was a really fun show to be on, and I was so happy to be on a pledge drive to support public radio. Loved hearing the Wisconsin accents, too :)

  5. I can’t imagine such cold temperatures at this time of year – BRRR! Of course I am in GA where we’ve already seen temperatures reach mid-high 80’s. My garden is growing lettuce, carrots, radishes, snap peas, green beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers! Some things, like the peas, lettuce, and radishes, are just about ready for the first harvest.

  6. I’ve had no veggie garden for a couple of years but it is an ongoing ‘project’ for this year. In the meantime, I’ve gotten window boxes and pots filled with dirt. In so far, elephant garlic, vidalia onions, lettuce, spinach, dill, cilantro, and rosemary. Starts waiting to be potted are parsley, basil, and collards (the collards are for my lizard). I overwintered mint in pots (thank heavens I brought them in the garage this winter) and they’re up and growing. I left my thyme outside and I’m still waiting for signs of life. I think it’s history, though. I lost a bunch of plants in pots AND in the ground this winter. *sigh*

    Couldn’t wait for the basil. I treated myself to some portabella caps and filled them with tomato and basil and cheese and roasted them. Yearning horribly for fresh tomatoes…

  7. We don’t have a veggie garden however, we have 4 blueberry bushes full of green berries slowly turning blue. We also have a lemon and tangerine tree both full with little green fruit developing. The blossoms were so fragrant a couple of weeks ago. Do you grow any fruit there? Apples maybe?

    • I also have blueberries. One peach tree. Grapes. Apples are very hard to grow without a lot of effort and pesticides, but I’m fortunate that there are very good orchards within a half hour drive.

  8. Woud love to have peaches. I have blueberries, raspberries and 1 blackberry. And a large herb garden. i did lose quite a few herbs this year. I had a 12 year old sage bush that I lost among other things.. In the gArden I have Swiss chard, english peas, garlc, kale right now. I am trying a Romanesque cauliflower for the first time. Orange colored. Can’t wait. I haveall my tomatos but they haven’t gone in yet. It’s still been a bit cold here in MD. I have my raised beds screened with chicken wire which I did 2 years ago. That way the girls can keep the pathways weed free and get the bugs. But they can’t gt to the produce. The do chomp on any vegetation that grows through the wire but that’s ok by me. I assume with the goats you have to keep the entire garden fenced? Happy gardening.

    • The goats stay in their pasture. If I take them out, it’s on leashes. The veg garden is fenced to keep deer and woodchucks out. The yard is fenced to keep stray dogs away. Fences all around!

  9. So obviously coyotes are not a concern.
    They have been hear recently I hear them yapping. I have to go out after dark with my two dogs so they don’t become a meal.

    • Coyotes are very much a concern. Scooter never goes out without Lily. We do have fencing, though. The goats have secure 4-foot high wire mesh fencing. I wouldn’t leave them out all night, but they’re fine out until we go to bed.

  10. Good day to you Terry. Our asparagus is up. We are so excited. One stalk is about two and a half ft. tall. We’ve planted bok choi, carrots, and sunflowers. I have in pots basil, cherry tomatoes, and chili peppers. We have corn, , zuchinni, yellow squash, green beans, tomatoes, several different types of peppers, cabbage, spearmint, collards, brussel sprouts, beets, and green onions to go. We’re in for a very strong el nino this year so hope all goes well with everyones gardens. Some of the above vegetables should already be in the ground, but sometimes we just take our time putting things out. Usually turns out good anyway. Hope all have a great day at Little Pond.