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…
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!”
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.
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.
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 )