Three months of cold, snow and ice are enough to make anybody think spring will never get here. But it will. Just look on the calendar. The 28 days of February are nearly gone. This coming Saturday is March 1. And once March arrives, it seems like the calendar slips into overdrive. The days fall off quickly.
If your target planting date is April 15, that means you could be planting in just over six weeks, assuming the snow is gone and conditions are right.
The snow will be gone. Whether conditions are right or not remains to be seen. The big question is – will you be ready? Have you been spending time in the shop getting the planter and tillage tools, if you use them, ready to roll? Have you examined any nagging problems with the planter tractor's hydraulics or electrical system brought on last season by adding extra electric or hydraulic attachments to the planter? Or are you just going to hope for the best and wait to find out if it works well enough in the field?
Even as a person without crops and even without a garden – just with sheep, fruit trees, pasture and asparagus – normally I would have applied nitrogen on the pasture by now. I'm not walking through a foot of snow to throw on urea by hand (poor people and people with just a couple acres of pasture have poor ways.) When the snow is finally done, I will already be behind schedule and the calendar will be marching. So I need to put that high on the list.
I also want to establish a new asparagus bed. It's hard to look at a seed and garden supply catalog and seriously think about ordering items for spring when you're still slipping and sliding just walking to the barn. I hope they have rush delivery, because by the time my brain decides there really be a spring, it may be time to plant crops like asparagus.
If you really want to kick start yourself and get out of the winter doldrums, you could rip off the month of March on the calendar and assume it's April. Looking at a calendar that says April ought to get you thinking about spring planting and getting ready for a new season. Maybe I'll try that. Sitting here today and looking out at snow, it still seems like spring is light years away. It's not – as I write it's only 55 days to April 15. Wow! Time to think spring!