I was going to hijack dj1's thread about his spring garden, but decided to start a new one instead. The first Asparagus spear came up today, I broke it off and ate it right there in the garden. I actually like raw Asparagus better than cooked, although I will break up a couple of fresh spears and put them on a pizza before putting it in the oven.
My sugar snap peas are sprouting also. This seems to be a difficult area to grow green peas in the spring. They can withstand very cold temperatures and even some frost once they sprout, but they need warm soil temps to sprout. By the time the soil is warm enough, the peas won't mature and produce until the summer heat hits, and then they aren't any good. I have tried a few different ways of starting them indoors and none seem to work very well.
Peat pots keep the soil inside the pot too dry, even when buried below the soil and the roots don't seem to break through the pots very well. The peat pucks are held together with some type of mesh that does not bio-degrade. The don't transplant well from those cell packs. I have had a little success wrapping the seeds in a wet paper towel and setting them on top of the water heater for a day, but my new water heater just doesn't shed off as much heat as the old one, almost none in fact. Plus wet seeds are hard to plant.
This year, when the Forsythias and Daffodils started blooming, I planted the seeds in the bed I prepped last fall. The soil was just barely dry enough to work. The soil temperature was too low for peas to germinate, around 60F, so I covered the bed with a layer of plastic for 3 days. The soil got up to about 85F which I was worried might be too warm. I removed the plastic and now those storms that have plagued the south have hit. Been raining for 4 days now, but it looks like most of the peas have sprouted, yeah.
I have been looking for old folk lore on when to plant. I know the famous dark of the moon bit and I don't believe in astrology. What I have been looking for is stuff like planting peas when the Forsythia blooms and planting corn when the Oak leaves are the size of mouse ears. I believe that nature tells us the best time to plant every year, we just don't seem to listen.
I have hear that you can plant sweet potatoes when the Asparagus comes up, but the spear that came up today was way too early. I don't expect Asparagus to come up until late April or early May. I'll see if more comes up in the next few weeks.
I'll transplant my tomatoes when the apple tree blooms. Apples are never caught by frost, according to legend.
I also have a book on companion planting and will be using it as a guide for laying out my garden. I've already got garlic coming up in the rose bed.