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The art of perfectly timed procrastination


I have always been a procrastinator. This is not a virtue, and I recently read an article that it’s procrastination is caused by being in a bad mood and living in the present. Personally, I think it has much more to do with living my entire young adult and adult life on a deadline; at some point you realize whatever you need to do is going to get done in a hurry right at the last minute so why bother starting earlier.

Say what you will about procrastination, but it has saved me from a gardening jam on multiple occasions. 

Last year, for instance, building the new vegetable garden was way beyond schedule (this was part bad luck with weather and part just lack of time, so perhaps not true procrastination). I didn’t get my potatoes in the ground until the second week of June, which is late in a short growing season. I actually thought about not even bothering, but potatoes were high on my list of things I was excited to have room for in the new garden and since I already had the seed potatoes I figured I might as well throw them in the ground.

It turns out that last year was terrible for potato beetles, and most of my gardening friends reported terrible damage to their plants in late May and early June. But by the time my potatoes put up foliage, the beetles were gone. I had a bug-free and highly productive crop of potatoes that we enjoyed in fall. (And I’m planting my potatoes later this year again because of it.)

Late season vegetable harvest
Some of the potatoes (and green tomatoes and peppers) I harvested last last year.

A couple weeks ago I wanted to get onions, a little bit of mesclun mix and some peas planted in the garden. But other jobs I had been procrastinating on (like the ones that pay the bills) became the priority, and the seedlings continued to live under the grow light (in between slowing hardening them off). 

The planting never happened, but I was determined to get them in over the weekend. And then the snow came.

I guess I’ve been in full denial mode about the weather because although I’d heard the “S” word uttered, I didn’t expect to walk out of my basement (potting up dahlias) on Sunday into a full-on snowstorm. As is typical of spring snow, it was heavy and wet and by the time it was over, more than 4 inches of the stuff had piled up.

snow covered pansies
The poor pansies were just barely popping their heads up, as though gasping for air under the heavy snow.

Had I planted those vegetables, they’d be flattened right now. It’s not so much the temperature that is the —they can handle cold temperatures and I’d cover them up with fabric anyway—but the weight of that heavy snow definitely would have crushed them. They would probably bounce back, but that’s no way for a plant to start its outdoor life. 

spring snowfall
That’s not just a little bit of snow.
spring snowfall on ginkgo.
Very soon, this gingko will leaf out. I’m sure I’m more bothered by this late spring snowfall that it is.

I’ll plant them out after work some night this week because I need the room under the grow lights, and I’m going to do what no sane Midwesterner would recommend: I’m declaring that we’ve seen the last of the snow this spring. Yep, I went there.

So a little bit of procrastination can come in handy from time to time. But Mother Nature should take note: This does not apply to the scheduling of spring weather.

Allium in the snow

4 Responses

  1. Oh you are funny! Love it! I’m back in Wyoming after having liived in Maryland, Virginia and Missouri… and I had forgotten how LONG, cold and snowy Wyoming can be. “They” say we are a zone 5, but I call NO way. We still have snow, 3-6” more is predicted in the next couple of days. I don’t remember an April being this cold and snowy. I do have tulips coming up through the snow… but they do look kinda shirt? Well… I’d be short too if I was a tulip in this Wy I guess wind! ?

  2. You’ve done so much work! My mother is in love with gardening too, and she wants to make a vegetable garden and I will show her your blog. I think she will love it and get a lot of tips and useful information from you. Thank you for such an awesome job!

  3. I am glad you weren’t disappointed about the snow. Some springs are just like that. Nothing like a good dose of procrastination to get you through.

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