cabin fever at its worst

yjtj(5/6 NY)March 13, 2005

for me this time of year is the worst. i am ready to get outside and do something. if it was close to 50 id be out there but its still to cold. maybe i cant handle it cause were i grew up, this time of year, you could start getting out. anyway i am in my planning mode. i have finally decided to dedicate a good sized area to be a vegtable garden. tomatoes and peppers are a given but im still deciding on what else to plant. i figure the garden will be 10x20 or so. i know i want to plant lettuce and onions also. never had a real vegtable garden before, should be fun.

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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

A good remedy for cabin fever is to start some seeds! I've got peppers, eggplants, petunias, and Welsh poppy seedlings, and it feels real good to see their little green leaves.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 2:52AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Winter sowing is a great way to thrwart cabin fever. I too grew up in an area where we actually start planting about now. I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I drove to the store...I really need to get out and soon! So when I got home from the store I wintersowed a few more seeds in containers and out the door they went. The problem is that unless the sun is shining I can't stand to stay out there for more than a few minutes at a time. I did stay out long enough to check my little hellebores that I planted last spring. It looked great until the last heavy snow and then the leaves started turning black. I though to myself OH it isn't going to make it! But yesterday when I went out there to check on it, it looks like it is sprouting new growth from the crown. Oh warmer days please hurry up!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 6:18AM
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BronwynC(Z6 WNY)

I have to agree, I want warmer days. A trip to a few big box stores still hasn't quelled my itch to get outside.

I broke down and bought some Ranunculus to play with and a few seed packets. The kids enjoyed planting yesterday.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 7:48AM
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I'm with you all. This is the worst time of year in NY. Garden still has a foot of snow on it, and the mud/ice/black snow is depressing. It's a good time to travel south for a week.

I start indoor seeds, order plants on the phone, trim the old leaves off my roses, winter sow some poppies and larkspur, spend time at Adams (garden center) gazing at the seed packets and new tools and pots for the garden, and sniff the hyacinths in the greenhouse.

I planned ahead by planting snowdrops and crocuses up against the south side of the house and shed where the snow's melted and probably microclimate zone 7. Those little blooms are my uplifting moment in the freezing day. Old daffodils are showing their buds there already.

I think early spring bulbs are the most important flowers of the year.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 11:34AM
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duta(z5 NY)

Hi Guys, I haven't been on this board all winter but I too, have cabin fever bad. I keep looking out my windows and pleading with the snow to leave..I'm near Syracuse. The only consolation is that I'm so busy with other aspects of my life, that I wouldn't have time yet anyway...but I can't wait!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 11:04AM
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misstish64(z5 Upstate NY)

You can try to cure cabin fever by forcing daffodils and tulips, or by growing amaryllis. We don't have a greenhouse or any property to speak of really on a 40 X 100 city lot, but my amaryllis do just fine on the stair landing. The outdoor bulbs do well when they are potted up in the fall and kept in the garage over winter, then brought indoors to interrupt my view of the snow through the window. Here's what part of the landing looked like on March 7th...this beats the winter blahs.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 12:04PM
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AbbeysDad(z5 CNY)

"It's always darkest just before the dawn."

It may be the fever...but although it is still slightly out of reach, I can feel spring in the air today.
And as I left work the other night, I was amazed at how much light there was (when just a few weeks ago it was so very dark).

It won't be long now and it will be april!

So hang on ... the spring will soon come.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 3:17PM
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harry451(4a Upstate NY)

For the past couple of years, I haven't done too much gardening. I have big plans this year. Last year I built a new fence. (My main garden is 25'x 15') This year I am going to completely redo my raised beds. I may even put in some landscape timbers. Now all I need is the weather.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 4:19PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

The only thing that cures cabin fever for me is getting outside in the sunshine. I have lots of South American salvias that I rooted and kept inside for the winter along with a passion vine, a rhododendron cutting and a couple of agastaches plus the regular boston fern, spider plants, etc. but not being able to get outside is my winter bane.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 4:25PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

When I read things like this, my honest opinion is, don't you people have coats? I spent the morning transplanting seedlings, and the afternoon pruning things. I will probably be pruning things for the next two weeks, then it will be time to start planting.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 5:52PM
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yjtj(5/6 NY)

theres still snow on the ground, it was snowing and we didnt see 30 here today. im guessing your not in western ny. this is the time of the year western ny weather is so much different from the rest of the state. i have lived in the whole state from eastern LI to buffalo and up to the lake placid area. this time of year everyone starts getting some spring except the western part. even the northern part of the state starts to improve, but thats rather easy considering there winters.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 8:24PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Trust me, I wear enough clothing for 2 people. I still have at least 2 ft. of snow in portions of my back yard. The front yard, which has a direct southern exposure still has at least 6 inches of snow except the bed which is adjacent to the house. The icy cold wind that we get at times goes right through any amt. of clothing you put on. I am a warm weather person so I wear sweats until the temps hit 70....I still have away to go LOL!

I agree with Jason, the eastern part of NY state is considerably warmer overall.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 5:02AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

No, that's what I mean. Wind shouldn't go through good clothing. You really need to be getting into the modern man-made fibers. It's still fairly expensive, but Gore-Tex isn't kidding. Athletic wear designed to stop wind works. Then the down and the wool layers go underneath, with a base layer of polypropeline. All that is good to about zero, and massive overkill for working outside around 30.

I've been out pruning on snowshoes. The nice thing about standing on all that snow is that it makes you taller, so you can reach higher things.

There are things that are fixable, and things that aren't. Getting upset because you can't go outside because you don't know how to dress is fixable.

Ever been to Olean? My family is from south of there.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 8:01AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I think you should post a picture or two of you pruning in snow shoes LOL! THat has to be a hoot! My neighbors already think I am a looney for doing wintersowing. If I went out in snowshoes they would have me hauled off for sure! I still have alot of southern blood and I hate being bundled up anyway. If I had to put all that stuff on I would be ready to jump out of my skin. You can take a person out of the deep south but you just can't take the deep south out of a person. I do understand what you are saying though and I do wear a down filled jacket over everything else along with scarves, hats, hoods, boots and whatever else I can put on and still move.

Never have been to it warmer down there?


    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 8:36AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Zone 4. Snow from Thanksgiving to Easter. My dad used to tell stories about driving the Model A's backwards (reverse is a lower gear than first), with one wheel on the berm (gravel has better traction), just to get up and over the mountains to make it back home. Buffalo is toasty and civilized by comparison. It's one of those places you bring serious clothing to the 4th of July picnics.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 9:35AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Well Mad,
I will have to pass on Olean althought it sounds like a nice place to visit in August for a day or two BRRRRRR!


    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 10:27AM
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yjtj(5/6 NY)

olean is in catteragus county close to pa. i work with a few guys from there and know several others. there is a small zone 4 pocket there, but its not really in the snow belt. i had snow here last night, not much just a dusting. i am in the snow belt, and also in a very windy area refererred to locally as huricane alley. i keep saying i am going to get a wind guage to measure the unbelievable winds we get.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 12:19PM
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husky004_(z5 NY)

Im staying inside for a some things started under lights...a bit behind in my winter sowing...but will catch up with the annuals...have some passifloras up inside that I started from seed, impatiens and lisianthus...and the brugmansia are all going strong...can't wait for a day in at least the 50's...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 12:33AM
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Mad, it's not the clothing, it's the inability to get to the soil and missing the near and yet so far, when there's hard, crusty snow covering the frozen garden. It's enough already. It's a real treat when I can sow peas in mid March, some years.

I do agree that the winter goes much better when I can get out in the sunshine at least for 20 minutes everyday (now that I'm retired and loving it.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 3:17PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I got outside today and actually did a little cleaning up in the yard. About 1/3 of the snow in the back yard has melted so I was out cleaning up doggie presents and twigs and small limbs from one of the maple trees. I even saw two earthworms come out of their little holes. I figured if they could take it so could I. Now if I can just figure out how to thin out some of those maple tree branches before they all leaf out I will be set to go.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 11:38PM
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