Maybe I have unjustified expectations, but this gardening year seems off to a really slow start. It has been cold. Today it is in the low 40s at best. Ten days ago I seeded out peas, beets and lettuce but so far there is no visible sign of germination. On two of those days there was snow on the ground again. Not much snow but it was really quite cold - in the low 20s on Wednesday. The poor toads mating in the pond somehow survived being under a layer of ice. They know something is unusual because they arrived, paired up and mated much more quickly than in past years. We usually have a couple of weeks of male frogs singing in the pond. This year was limited to about two days.
The raspberries are clearly budding out but it still is not clear whether the grapes have viable buds. And, despite a couple of days around 70 degrees, there is no sign of asparagus. The rhubarb continues to push its way through the compost that I dropped over the plants last October.
On the 13th I seeded carrots, fava beans and spinach. Except for the peas I have placed burlap over the seeded areas, hoping that the burlap will help keep the soil moist - it has also been pretty dry - and, in the event of a heavy rainfall, keep the soil from washing off the seeds. It also keeps the house sparrows from taking dust baths in those areas.