Clark Hollow Ramblings: You just can’t count on nothing

It’s getting really hard to know what you can count on. I have had a vegetable garden almost all my life, and Linda has, as well. We have heard, for as long as we can remember, when it comes to planting, what mom used to call, “your little early stuff,” which was, peas, radishes, lettuce, and maybe spinach, that you can put them in the ground when you plant your potatoes. Or, as it says on many of the packages, “as early in the spring as the ground can be worked.”

I have been doing that all my life. And, yes, I have had the frost nip the tops of my potatoes, and they would turn black, but they always put up a new shoot, and it often looked heartier than the original one. But, I have never heard of frost killing peas and radishes.

Before last Monday night, our peas, in our new raised beds, were up three or four inches. And I would check every morning, to see if I was going to have a bloom on them before the first of April. Well, I can stop wondering.

As I write this, I am still waiting to hear the extent of the damage suffered by the orchard owners in Rappahannock. I feel for them. I hope they fared better than our peas. They are as dead as John Brown, and their little shriveled bodies are lying there a-mouldering in the grave.

The frost also killed our radishes. I have never heard of such a thing. I am beginning to wonder if these plants took a particularly hard beating because they were in raised beds. In other words, might they have had more protection if they were in terra firma. Maybe some of our readers will let me know about that.

Long story short, after I wrote the article about the blasted high heaven trees taking over the country, a wonderful friend, who shall remain nameless, called and said he had some locust trees I could use for posts. Since then I have been engaged in an arduous struggle of stripping the bark off with my grandfather’s draw knife, digging three-foot holes, setting posts, stringing wire and trying to learn how to build a hybrid fence to turn the deer out of our new raised-bed garden.

It has been almost more than this old body wanted, but my bride seems happy, and, after all these almost-48 years of putting up with me, she deserves a little happiness. And, of course, when momma’s happy, everybody’s happy. Happy springtime to you.

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 134 Articles

Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.