Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bigger Than A Mouse's Ear

There are those who say that it is safe to put in your garden when the new oak leaves are as big as a mouse's ear.  Oak trees usually hang onto their brown leaves until spring if they can, only dropping them when the new leaves are ready.  New oak leaves are frost sensitive and the tree does not like to expend all that energy to make another set of leaves.  In a year when they have to do that there are frequently no acorns.  Thoreau had faith in a seed and I would love to have faith in a tree.  That would be so simple, but not all of the oak trees agree.  This one is down by the river.  Trees up closer to the garden are not so advanced.

I do see signs of the soil temperature rising.  My favorite pink poppies, sunflowers and lamb's quarters have started to come up.   But this year the weather has been unpredictable at best.  Today has been a mix of sunshine and  dark menacing clouds.  Talk of winds, hail and flash flooding make it hard to risk our new plants.

Again tonight many of the plants you see on this wall have been moved safely into the basement.  We are going to plant these out soon.  Maybe when there's more of a consensus among the oak trees and the meteorologists we can do it.  For now we will wait!


Esther Montgomery said...

My year too has been frustrated by weather.

Indie said...

Ha, I remember reading a saying similar to that in the 'Little House on the Prairie' books, something about planting corn when the oak leaves are as big as a mouse's ear or similar. I keep expecting the weather here to turn and come up with a late frost or something, but the good weather has actually been holding up so far. Unfortunately, winter moth caterpillars have invaded and are actively eating through all the oak leaves here, so they might have to make a second set anyway :(

Victoria Williams said...

I've never heard that saying about oak trees, but it rings true. Around here it's, "don't plant until the snow is off Bogus Basin". Good rule of thumb.