Opps I’m Late

I told myself that I would take a weekly photo of the garden and post it on a Wednesday because the garden is growing so fast that the monthly one just isn’t enough to do it justice.  Since I made this decision I have taken the photos on a Wednesday but I have failed to post on a Wednesday and have only just managed to post it on a Thursday.  But I get there in the end.  So without further ado…

Looking to the south ...ish
Looking to the south …ish
Looking to the north...  ish!
Looking to the north… ish

It starting to feel a little bit more like summer, it’s still a little overcast, but the temperatures are warming up.  It seems enough to perk up the cucumbers and they have started to visibly grow and even have some baby cukes!  But it hasn’t rained for a while and the garden is becoming one of two things – rock hard or dusty.  I’m not sure how the beds decide in which direction to go as they have mostly been treated equally by me.  Maybe they have a roster system amongst themselves and whisper to each other at night…  “NO, I want to go rock hard like concrete – last year I was all dusty and parts of me blew away!”

A baby cuke...  awhh how cute
A baby cuke… awhh how cute

In the winter I curse our sodden swamp soil as it is soggy, boggy and impossible to work with.  However in summer it is a completely different story.  Our soil is of a type known as the sponge of the soil world and can hold up to 20 times its weight in water.  In summer this is a blessing.  When all the hills around us are brown and dry, our grass is still green and verdant.  But even better the soil only requires  a deep watering now and again, as opposed to every day.  Although a less frequent good deep watering is preferable to a quick squirt every day so the roots grow deep and find their own moisture, instead of hanging out near the surface looking for their next quick fix!

The other thing to keep on top of, is the weeds – the scourge of the garden.  But I am pleased to say that so far so good – I have a degree of control over this one.  The problem is keeping it that way.  So I came up with a handy dandy roster.  I’m actually a bit of a closet geek!  I have laminated copies of a map of my garden that I use to organise my planting schedule and write notes about what needs doing in each bed.

I have a plan so cunning....
I have a plan so cunning….

So I washed a map clean and relabelled all the beds.  Then I divided the whole thing into four sections where one section is being watered, while I weed the section that was watered the previous day, so the soil should be soft and the weeds should come out easily.

Beats standing there with a hose!
Beats standing there with a hose!

This is all made possible by the fact that I have gone nuts with irrigation and each bed has sprinklers and soaker hoses, depending on if it likes overhead watering or not!  So I set the timer on my phone and plug a bed into the hose, and then go off and do some weeding.  So far so good it seems to be working well.  I have done it for two days and have had two days off.  Half of my garden is looking great, but I planned this four day roster to actually stretch out to a week as I knew I wouldn’t be able to manage every day.  I’ll just give stuff an extra water if they look peaky.  So bring on summer – I’m ready for you and your heat and dry!  I have a hose and a plan!

Coming again soon – I need to get out there – the strawberries won’t pick themselves – well, if I don’t get on to it before the kids come home from school they will.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )




14 thoughts on “Opps I’m Late

    1. Hi Lucinda. The weather people are predicting a drier and hotter than average summer so I guess I need to make it work, if my plants are to survive and thrive.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  1. I thought your title was going to refer to the chronic tendency SOME of us have, of gardening just a little bit more every time we’re supposed to stop and do something else, so that we become chronically late due to gardening. Hmmm.

    1. Hi There. I have to say that being late because I’ve been gardening is also something that does happen. Or I’ll be out there until the last possible moment and then have to go to pick up the kids, or go somewhere with stubborn dirt still under my nails, or less that clean feet hidden inside shoes!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi there. Thanks for your encouraging words. The key will be to keep it up in the busyness of life, especially as Christmas is fast approaching and there is heaps of things that can keep me out of the garden at this time of year!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. You are one organized gal! I’m well impressed. Actually, sometimes I feel like we should give up on the veg growing thing and just eat weeds! And you know, if we did that, you could bet your bottom dollar that the weeds would fail!!!

    1. Hi Christine. I am so with you on the weeds thing! I mean how can they be both frost AND drought tolerant. Anything edible shrivels just at the mention of either of them! Having said that – the taste of a fresh sun warmed tomato, eaten in the garden is worth every last bit of fuss and bother!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. I totally envy you your soil. Ours topsoil is dust and blows away at the first scratch of a rabid chook hell bent on a dust bath…they certainly get their fill of dustbaths around here! We are almost finished our latest horticultural conquest around here so we should be able to tackle the garden soon starting with irrigation, mulching, chook control, debris removal… I am twitching in my chair as I type this but I just read a Milkwood permaculture post that had me feeling a whole lot better about our soil…at least it isn’t as bad as theirs! And we get more rain AND their gardens always grow… we just need to get out there…get into it…and get some hope/faith going that our efforts shall indeed be rewarded one fine day! 😉

    1. Hi Fran. That’s one thing I have found about this wonderful global gardening community is it always helps you to appreciate what you have. I feel so blessed we don’t have bears eating our fruit, scorpions hiding under rocks, raccoons having a test taste of all our melons, badgers, moles, squirrels. We are also blessed here in NZ with the absence of snakes and lethal spiders.
      Others about the place seem to be gardening in far worse conditions than we could even imagine and still get great results. That is why I know it is more than just gardening – it is like some kind of addiction. Once you get into it, there will be no looking back and as for dust bathing chickens – I’m sure they will find their place in the sun – albeit a fully fenced place in the sun!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. I think that is what binds all of us fools who work the soil together…we are optimists and we work with what we’ve got. Rocks…”no problem…make an alpine garden”…all of the vermin under the sun (and a fair few of them coming at you from under the ground…) “dig your fences in and cover your garden over” there is always a way 🙂

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