This is a strange time indeed

Spring is due to start very soon and I am so excited, but there isn’t all that much for me to do.  In my drive to clear all the beds over the winter, it has left me with not a lot to do.  Experience has taught me not to get over enthusiastic with the seeds as they all have their special time to rise and shine.  So I need to wait. But it feels odd and making me feel anxious.  Normally at this time of year I am out there in the cold, up to my elbows in frenzied weeding!

The spuds are chitting
The spuds are chitting

I have tidy beds, and seed packets in the waiting, and so I wander around the garden with this weird sense of I should be doing something…  Well if I am honest – there is a job or two that could be done.  The shed needs cleaning out – something to do with a mouse and a marrow that didn’t store well.  I will lay the blame for the chaos there, and not with my own ineptitude when it comes to storing things in their proper place.  To hide my shame there won’t be any before photos of this mess.

We have started getting asparagus - oh so sweet and so good...
We have started getting asparagus – oh so sweet and so good…

Well I should really do the strawberries.  I’ve done half but the ground is still too damp and it is harder than it could be.  But I may just need to suck it up and get stuck in today as there is another round of heavy rain due and the window of strawberry prep time is quickly running out.

A perfect fence ... but I think it needs bunting!
A perfect fence … but I think it needs bunting!

I took the protective netting off the garlic and onions.  They are big enough that the cat won’t see it as a loo anymore and there will be no ‘weeding’ by unhelpful chickens.  We conceded defeat in out chicken fence construction skills.  The last patch job just didn’t cut it.  Wrapping layers of plastic tape, with the words DANGER printed on it, around the top of the fence to create a visual barrier and a flapping noise didn’t stop the chickens from flying over the top so it would appear chickens can’t actually read warning signs.  And besides, the hole in the bottom of the fence was much easier for them to just walk through.  So we got in a professional and in half a day we had a perfect chicken proof fence. 

I have unsightly gaps in my garlic, it offends my sense of order, and just won't do
I have unsightly gaps in my garlic, it offends my sense of order, and just won’t do

So with my liberated garlic, I cast a proud eye over them, only to discover quite a few were missing, they hadn’t come up.  I ummed and erred and decided to have a poke about hoping to see some about to break through the surface.  But they were just still there as cloves, having made no attempt whatsoever to grow!  It has been quite wet, but I would have expected them to have started to rot if that was the case.  Torn by indecision – do I leave them there and hope for some action or cut my losses and plant more?  Time was against me.  It is almost too late to plant more garlic so I had to make up my mind.   I decided it would be best to grow some in pots so if the slow pokes in the ground do decide to show their faces I can give away the new ones.  And if they don’t I can slip the new ones into the ground and no one would ever know that I had a considerable garlic fail this season.  Fingers crossed!

Gift or backup?
Gift or backup?

My peas were also a bit of a disaster.  I blame it on the excessive rain – oh what a scraggly bunch of good for nothing legumes!  I think I am going to cut my losses and rip them out.  I want to sow more, but I remembered the problems last year with a sneaky late crop lingering too long in the home for new tomatoes.  So I have prepared the way for the peas to go into their new summer home early.  It’s looking flash!

a shameful bunch reprobates if ever I saw them!


I never know when to do my crop rotation.  I haven’t moved my signs yet, but now I have things beginning to grow in beds with the wrong labels – proclaiming the crops of the previous season.  But then in other places I have the crops of the previous season still there and the label is, for the moment, correct.  We are eating carrots as fast as we can!  Then there are the beds with the old and the new in there!  I am in a state of flux between the seasons.

Flash new digs for the peas
Flash new digs for the peas

Come again soon – the season is so close, just waiting for the starter’s gun!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

16 thoughts on “ This is a strange time indeed

  1. It’s all looking good Sarah, gaps n all. I think the Mudlets peas have succumb to a massive aphid attack, in spite of frequent soakings by organic bug spray. I’m going to have a good look tomorrow and see. I think their carrots are doing well though 🙂

    1. Hi Elaine.
      I can’t wait to get started, but at this time of year you tend to get a romantic view of how it is all going to be. Aphids in the peas don’t come into that view at all. I hope you can sort it out for the Mudlets. They will love to eat their own food!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. Hi Sarah .. I’ve had that happen with my garlic before too. Such a nuisance – thankfully this year, it looks like they have all sprouted and are growing happily. I’m doing a late crop of spuds, so I’ll chit later in the year. Do you use a seaweed fert on them at all? This cranks up the sprouts too. Not sure if this might help with your rotation, but I number each of my beds and then record what goes where and when, this makes crop rotating a breeze. I’m hopeless with signage and my memory is shocking! 🙂 Happy gardening

    1. Hi Julie.
      I throw all sorts of stuff at my spuds through the growing season. The soil is prepared with blood and bone and lots of well rotted animal poop! I seem to do well, although last year I got blight, which was annoying.
      My rotation system is quite simple, because a few years ago I sat down and figured it all out and it was a bit of a mission as there was so much to think about. So now everything has a logical reason for where they are and I don’t need to think about it at all – just move all my signs clockwise by one bed. The problem is I just don’t know when to move the signs!
      Happy gardening to you too!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. It looks so ready for the new season, and I love that shot of the chickens in the wire. We are one reading away from having all poultry banned from our city. Oh well, I wasn’t going to convince my husband that we should try raising some, so just as well. I look forward to watching your garden grow on the blog as I begin to put mine to the canner and the freezer.

    1. Hi Lucinda. I can’t believe how quickly your summer and our winter has passed. It doesn’t seem that long ago we were in the reverse position. It is a shame about the poultry in your city but it seems to be the way of things, and people are becoming so disconnected from where their food comes from. I am pleased my eggs come from a large fenced area – not more escape artists in the garden!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. Good morning Sarah your garden is looking great ready for your spring as mined slowly winds down to the cooler nights your photos are great thank you for sharing and have a blessed gardening week

    1. Hi Linda. I guess as we warm up and you cool down there will be a few days there somewhere where we both have the same kind of weather!
      Blessings to you to.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  5. I have a solution to your twitching Ms Sarah, you can come and weed and clear out all of MY garden beds. I am willing to let you do it to make you happy ;). Send some of that rain our way, we haven’t had any rain in a fortnight. I am still wrapping my head around having to head in to the city to buy some seed let alone plant it out…I can still plant garlic? I am ONTO IT! ;). One day I am going to get half as efficient about the garden as you are and some of this chaos is going to click but I fear it won’t be this year…but I WILL at least have some seedlings to plant out. I am hauling my heat bed out of the shed and am going to set it up in Steve’s music room and am about to buy some seed raising mix in order to at least get a degree of pride that I grew my own seedlings this year! One tick from the endless progression that needs to be accomplished in order to veggie garden!

    1. Hi Fran… If you race out there and plant garlic immediately, you should get away with it as it would seem August is the latest to plant them out and it is still August – only just!
      You need to do what I do to get vast amounts of digging done – I tell hubby the Un-Gardener “see these seedlings – in 6 weeks they need to go over there” and hand him a spade! Seems to work every time, although lately he has become more of a Hubby the Un-Boat Restorer. I shall rue the day that he got a hobby!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. HAHAHA! Stevie-boy is not a natural gardener. He likes to tinker and prune but our soil here is predominately heavy clay and bedunkered with rocks so “digging” a hole takes the better part of a few hours and involves using crow-bars and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. We have to use raised beds as there is no way we are going to coax that soil with a shovel 😉

  6. Everything looks so fresh and ready to go, Sarah. You’ve done a bang up job getting it all ready and as you say, you’ll be plenty busy in no time. What an amazing garden. It never ceases to amaze me what you get done.

    1. Hi Alys. It is such a crazy busy time as there is a lot going on this year. On top of the spring garden I am working on a few exciting projects, including a book launch in a couple of weeks – super excited about that, and of course looking after wee lambies! So cute, but quite demanding!
      Thank you so much for your kind words.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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