We are nearly there….

It is warm enough for strawberries...
It is warm enough for strawberries…

The last frost free day is generally regarded as this weekend, which coincidentally has a public holiday tacked onto the end.  So the weather is coming around to a warmer way of thinking and it was a mild 15°C (59F) overnight and so I felt confident enough to leave my tomatoes outside all night in a sheltered place for the final stage of their hardening off experience.  But the question I have to ask myself is will I be ready?

There is something seriously wrong with this photo...  these peas should have been finished ages ago and I need the space for the tomatoes.  Do you think I could move them?
There is something seriously wrong with this photo… these peas should have been finished ages ago and I need the space for the tomatoes. Do you think I could move them?

The answer in a nutshell would be – no!  In this erratic spring weather, after days of sunshine that were admittedly a little breezy, today has rain.  But not the ordinary “this is clearly a bunch of raindrops” rain, but that annoying misty rain that you can hardly see, but to go out in it will have you soaked through to the skin in no time.  This is not gardening weather.   It isn’t even nice weather!  So I need to figure out what I can do that will keep me dry, but move me forward in preparation for the big day!

I still have to finish harvesting the wheat.
I still have to finish harvesting the wheat.

In reality I may need to turn it into a moveable celebration of the coming of summer and plant things out as best I can when the weather, the readiness of the garden and other events allow.  It won’t kill the plants to stay in their pots a couple of days longer and in some instances it may even be beneficial – there have been rogue frosts past this magical safe date before.  So I will work with the perception that I am being cautious and want to give my plants the best possible start.  You know the saying “plant in haste – repeat at leisure” or words to that effect after I mangle it by putting a gardening spin on it.

The potatoes are doing really well.
The potatoes are doing really well.

However if this is the official line then you will need to disregard most of what I said previously as from now on it will be “I’m just going to take my time planting out my plants to make sure the risk of frost has truly gone.”  I shall be like a duck swimming on a lake – above the water I shall be calm as I convince myself and everyone else it is ok to plant late.  But underneath those little webby feet paddle fast and I shall be in my garden working so fast I shall have remind myself to stop for meals and look at investing in one of those head lamps so I can continue on after dark!

The melons will definitely be staying in the greenhouse for another couple of weeks because they really sulk if it isn't warm enough
The melons will definitely be staying in the greenhouse for another couple of weeks because they really sulk if it isn’t warm enough

It hasn’t helped that time in the garden has been taken up by kids and lambs; with wonderful event that is calf club.  The good news is the lambs fully recovered from their illness in time for calf club, but I was forced to perform an illegal task, as it is strictly against the rules to wash lambs.  But I don’t imagine it would have gone down well to take along lambs with dirty bottoms.  Oh my goodness if you had told my inner city me 10 years ago that I would willingly – albeit illicitly – be scrubbing poop off the back of lambs I would never have believed you and would actually have been a little mortified at the thought!  But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  The day was fantastic, the sun came out and many ribbons were won.  This came as a bit of surprise, as the lambs had been sick and so the boys couldn’t train them so they weren’t really up to it, however when the Joeyosaurus picked up a 4th place ribbon for leading when he in fact pushed Meep around the course, he was really surprised.  It may have had a lot to do with the fact there were only four lambs in the junior category.  You have to love the blessings that come with attending a very small school.  It was a lovely relaxed day and everyone had a lot of fun.

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Come again soon – I shall garden on, whatever the weather.  Those plants won’t plant themselves!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

11 thoughts on “We are nearly there….

  1. When we harden off the plant, what are we exactly hardening it off from? The wind? The sun? The cold? The reduced humidity? I don’t really get it because I usually just jump the gun and plant them straight out.

    1. Hi Justin. To harden off plants is to ease them from the warm comfort of the greenhouse into the harsh reality of the outside world they will be growing in, so they don’t get stressed out and get transplant shock. That way they do better and don’t even realize they have been moved. Then there is less of the sulking that some plants tend to do. It is a bit like a swimmer slowly getting into a cold pool – getting used to it bit by bit. Diving in straight away can give you brain freeze! Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Alys. The parts of the garden I have sorted out are looking really good, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The weather should sort itself soon and hopefully we will end up with a great summer.
      The lambs will have to go back to the farm soon – and I will miss them, but not the stress from worrying about them. These lambs are the best behaved ones we have had as they haven’t escaped once – either that or we have improved our fencing skills. This will be the first year all my Christmas lilies get to flower as every other year one or more has had their heads eaten by an escaped lamb!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Oh my, I simply couldn’t part with those lambs. However do you do it?

        I’m glad they’ve been well behaved. What great news for Christmas this year.

        I’m behind on my blog reading this week, so hope to catch up on your goings on soon.

        Thanks, Sarah.

  2. Your potatoes and strawberries are looking GREAT! I would really love to try strawberries in spring. The lamb in the back of the car cracked me up, definitely not something I see everyday. I hope the weather clears up a bit for you.

    1. Hi Keith. All the proper farmers showed up at calf club with proper animal trailers and here we are opening the boot of car and lambs jump out. But then that is just how we roll here! We are ever so slightly unconventional! Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. My strawberries have only just started growing again and only one or two have flowers. Soon I will be able to transplant them in their own garden and let them go mental. “I” will go mental when I can shut myself inside my own big “secret garden” away from the marauding possums and can really start to plan a life including veggies and without parapets or defenses or night time raids. Still got to work out how to protect our small orchard but for now, I am happy with my prospective and moving closer by the day veggie garden 🙂 Will check out your vid later in the day. This morning is for the garden 🙂

    1. Oh Fran – a secret garden! I always wanted a secret garden. I thought it would be cool to get an old door and have that as the entrance to my garden – never mind that I don’t have a fence… it is all about the mystery and allure of the door!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Belle. Thanks for checking out my blog – I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but the garden overtook the blog and I didn’t even get to look at it for a while. The spuds are even bigger now – they look so lush and healthy – I hope its not just all green on top and nothing underneath – that would be terrible! I have the mint growing at the back door waiting for the first new spuds – Yummo! Cheers Sarah : o )

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