Gardening?…NO.

The weather here in Iowa has not been conducive to farmers or gardeners or anyone who wants to be outside.  Typically by now I have some things planted.  Typically I’m chomping at the bit to want to buy plants, pots, potting soil and all things garden…but the weather has not been favorable at all.  It’s been cold…and now rainy.  Look at that forecast on my computer.  Although some of those chances are only 30 or 40% chances of rain, it looks down right depressing.

I’ve been starting to see photos from other places of people gardening and although it makes me happy for them, for me, I’m a little sad.

Rather than mope I had a little talk with myself encouraging myself to think of some things I can do.  I may not be able to full-fledge garden but I can do some prep work.

I ended up out in the garden and started making some plans as to what is going where.  I had seven rhubarb plants.  I don’t need that many!!  When Kramer was living I made about two desserts a week.  He loved rhubarb so I often made rhubard crisp, pies and other desserts.  Now that he’s not here, I just don’t need that much rhubarb taking up my garden space.
I took a picture of my plants and then on Facebook put a message on my wall that said anyone who was interested in plants could come and take them.

A friend immediately said she’d take some.  She talked to her daughter and daughter in law and they all wanted some too so she ended up taking it all.  WHEW.  I didn’t have the problem getting rid of it like I did my lawn mower.

Kramer and I got this rhubarb from someone I knew.  We had been to an estate sale and the family had sold their parent place.  There was a GIANT rhubarb patch and a couple of the siblings were digging up a rhubarb plant.  Kramer spoke up and asked if we could buy some plants from them as he wanted us to have more plants.  They said feel free to take whatever was left as the new owners didn’t want any rhubarb.

So…Kramer dug it all up.  We planted it and it took off like crazy.  The plants were big and HUGE.

I started digging about 20 minutes before my friend came.  Oh my, what a work out.  Those plants were stuck in there tight.  I got several dug out and ready to go.  There were two left to dig out when my friend showed up.

We dug and dug and dug.  It was so hard to get them out.  I didn’t realize that roots could go down that deep.  At one point my friends shoe got stuck in the shovel and she toppled over.  I’m sure the two of us out there trying to wrangle the rhubarb would have been commical to watch.

We finally got them out and loaded up.  Oh my!  At least that job is done.

So…I ended up keeping two plants.  That’s still a lot for me but it’s better than it was.  I think I could be content with one plant.  I’ll try two for now and if that ends up being too much I’ll give away one of the plants next spring.


I have holes to fill in now.  That will give me something to do in the dirt to hopefully keep me content for a little while.


I think I’m going to buy some strawberry plants and put a few in this area.  I don’t plan on having a lot…just a few so the grandkids can see where strawberries come from.  I’ve tried plants several times with no luck so hopefully they work for me this year.

Tonight I think I’m going to start some morning glory seeds.  They take a long time to germinate so hopefully in three weeks the weather will be nice, they will have sprouted and I can plant them.

What a crazy Spring.  I really am itching to garden but am so thankful for the few little things I can do before the weather turns nice.

21 thoughts on “Gardening?…NO.

  1. Rita in Iowa

    Jo be careful with the morning glory plants. I planted them one year and the vines grew on everything and weighted them down. Then the seeds planted themselves and I had them everywhere. I’m still pulling out the seedlings and it’s been five years since I planted them.

    Also I made a drink sauce with the rhubarb and added it to sparkling water. I will look up the recipe and send it to you.

    Reply
    1. Susan from Michigan

      I would be interested in the rhubarb drink sauce recipe. We have had a few warm days to work outside, but it hasn’t lasted. I got my flowerbeds pretty well cleaned out, though.

      Reply
  2. Gail L Piper

    We have a freeze warning up tonight in our part of Ohio – I have my bleeding heart plants covered and brought in the few plants I bought to set out when the weather is fit. I’m hoping my lilacs don’t get too cold – they have buds but no blooms yet. Our “frost-free” date is May 15th, but that’s never guaranteed. We’ve contented ourselves with pulling the weeds that are popping up and will mulch soon.
    How nice you could share the rhubarb with someone who wants it!

    Reply
  3. Deb in Idaho

    It’s good to get out and do some gardening. I did a clean up and planted my Cannas. Hubby and I got the garden all ready for planting. But a little cold today so quilting instead. Have a good night.

    Reply
  4. June

    Wish I lived closer to you- I’ve been wanting Rhubarb plants. I wonder if they grow here? My mom always made Rhubarb jelly. I have done my tomatoes in a planter- that way I can move them when we finally get the green light. I have lots of flowers and two good size toms ….

    Reply
  5. Sandy

    Morning glories Oh My! My mother planted some in the garden (it must have been at least 40 years ago) and they still manage to show up each year! They can take over.

    Reply
  6. Margaret Tobin

    If only I were closer I would love rhubarb plants. One of my favorite things ♥️
    I am in southern Delaware and the weather has been mostly wonderful for weeks but tonight will get down into the mid 30s but I think everything will still be okay.
    I love spring and all my bulbs and lilacs. Really a lovely time.
    You will be rewarded soon.
    All the best,
    Margaret ‍

    Reply
    1. Stearns Carol

      Nice to know you Margaret! I went to Seaford High School and Millsboro for a while. And in doing our geneology, my sis sand I have discovered our roots go way back in Sussex County! You should be able to plant now.

      Reply
  7. Maxine

    My mom used to get rhubarb and boil it wit a lot of sugar and when it was done she would add frozen strawberries to it. Then she would mark homemade rye bread. When I was pregnant with my daughter, used to put peanut butter on the ye bread and have a big bowl of the rhubarb/strawberry mixture. I think inate that every chance I got since nothing else tasted as good.

    Reply
  8. NJ

    Did you know by wrapping slow germinating seeds (morning glory) in a sopping wet paper towel then put in a plastic bag they germinate faster ? Check them every day.

    Reply
  9. Angie

    Here in North Carolina, we’ve gone from 80 degrees high to 40’s all in one day. Clouds, or sunshine to snow. We’ve had lots of rain fro January through mid April. And don’t get me started on pollen. my car went from Army green to yellow; windows are streaked with pollen and rain trails, and even the furniture in the house is covered in pollen ( I keep my windows closed). My poor little dogs sneeze from the pollen. I couldn’t weed my flower garden due to rain and weeds took over till it’s too big a job for my knees to handle, so I have hired someone to landscape it. If there is a good thing to this crazy weather, I have stayed in and sewed more quilt tops ( a friend long arms them) for local cancer center and used fabric that I have had stashed for a long time. Hope your weather straightens out so you can plant.

    Reply
  10. Joy in NW Iowa

    My hubby tilled our garden a couple weeks ago. Yesterday I helped his plant the potatoes…I threw the potatoes in the hole he dug with the spade. It’s too cold to even think about being outside here in NW Iowa. The guys are early perplexed about when to out the corn and soybeans in the cold ground! Plus the soil is like powder dry. No rain…they keep talking and predicting but it starts east of us. I just quilt and make cards. Jo rhubarb is so good.

    Reply
  11. Maralou Spear

    I hear you! There comes a time every Spring when my fingers cry out to feel dirt between my fingers! But patience does reward! Happy gardening.

    Reply
  12. Carla

    Rhubarb is on my “I want to grow” list, but I know next to nothing about it yet, so your description of how well rooted they get is helpful. Susan in Michigan is right, our weather has not been the warmest. I did plant early seeds though so that’s something at least.

    Reply
  13. Michele

    Jo, there is a secret to growing strawberries. You need to be patient. You need to pick the flowers off the plants the first year you plant them. Year two you will have beautiful, big berries.

    Reply
  14. JustGail

    I’ve been soaking seeds in warm water overnight before planting – it makes a huge difference in sprouting time. The cardinal climber sprouts in about 3 days, the tomatoes took 5 days, the zinnias 2 days. I’ll make no comment about morning glory being invasive – I’m battling bindweed in a couple of flower beds, so my opinion is a bit prejudiced right on them right now. OTOH, morning glory is also related to sweet potato, and I don’t see anyone giving dire warnings against planting that…

    Reply
  15. Laura

    It gets too hot in Virginia Beach for my mother to grow rubarb, which she loves. My cousin sent her a cooler full of dry ice and rubarb a couple of years ago. She used up a whole cooler of it herself!

    Reply
  16. Anne Fisher

    Gee-and here I am wishing we had more than 3 plants— and been planning to buy a couple more -and set them next to the foundation of the little shed –a little more protection for the weather we’ve been having this Spring!!! Have you made jam with Rhubarb??? It is an easy one– and my family LOVES getting a jar when I have rhubarb so can make it!! Bet your grandkids and childcare kiddos would like it too?? I will send you the recipe if you’re interested. Sure do know how you feel though. Every time I go out, I am looking for any of the flowers to be showing up –and yesterday, I did find a few of the little blue star flowers–Glory of the Snow -Scilla–Chionodoxa. I just now found there are several different ones–and native of SW Turkey, Greece & Crete!! They are slow working through the heavy covering of leaves on that bed–with so little warm sun to help. But hey–the chives in another flower spot are really growing. Must get some next time I go feed the birds!!

    Reply

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