Guilt free in the garden.

I wake up at night in a sweat.  My pumpkins.  My poor pumpkins.  They are bound and constrained in their pots.  They should be free.  I lie there and worry about finding time to give them their freedom before it is too late.  Sometimes I wake up at night in a sweat because it is hot and muggy.

I'm growing Christmas ornaments
I’m growing Christmas ornaments

Slowly over the spring the burgeoning table of hardening off seedlings reduced in numbers as each batch took their turn to be relocated in their new homes in specially prepared beds that suit their requirements.  First it was the tomatoes and then others followed and even just recently the almost dead left over flowers were perked up and planted in a bed that had no other immediate plans.  I won’t show you because it is really a sorry sight.

... and Christmas trees!
… and Christmas trees!

But left on the shelf waiting and hoping for their turn were the pumpkins.  To be fair I had repotted them twice.  But their bed wasn’t ready.  To be honest, to start off there wasn’t one and I grew them in faith that there would be something available by the time they were ready.  Eventually I started to dig a strip of ground for them, but the soil was heavy and it was hard going. So I called in Hubby the Un-Gardener to help and he dug it with great speed.

It's been really hot
It’s been really hot, the numbers don’t lie!

But it needed digging over once more to remove roots and weeds, and I tried but the soil was still clinging too tightly.  I asked Hubby the Un-Gardener to dig it over again, but not being a passionate gardener sensing the urgency of the situation, with incarcerated cucurbits in desperate need of release, he dillied and he dallied and didn’t do any digging.  So I decided to persevere by myself, no matter how long it took.  However I was pleasantly surprized as the soil was at that perfect texture where it wasn’t too damp, but wasn’t too dry and released the weed roots with ease.  The soil itself was soft and crumbly and a real pleasure to work.   I worked up a bit of a sweat, but only because it was hot, and had the new bed clear and ready to go in no time.

Pee-a- boo
Pee-a- boo

Then I knew I was taking a bit of a risk because I was going to plant them closer together than is ideal so I super enriched the soil.  Deep beneath the surface I buried a considerable quantity of well-rotted chicken poop, then covered it over.  The top level was then bolstered with loads of compost, fertiliser, sheep pellets and blood and bone.  Once I planted them all in there in a row, I gave them a liquid feed as a kind of ‘welcome home’ / ‘sorry it took so long’ gift.  Then to ensure they stay healthy I ran a length of soaker hose across their bases.

And they are in....  I'm so sorry wee pumpkins for the delay
And they are in…. I’m so sorry wee pumpkins for the delay

So now they are all there in a row and will hopefully grow out towards the field.  To keep the weeds down I plan to sheet mulch as they go with cardboard.  I’m hoping this works because last time it was a terrible job trying to keep them from being lost in the wilderness.

And with that I can sleep easy, all my seedlings are in.  Phew.

Come again soon – the irrigation system is coming along nicely,

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

11 thoughts on “Guilt free in the garden.

  1. Wonderful .. glad you can now relax. Phew! I can’t help myself.. I have a sister! You and I close plant like there is no tomorrow .. LOL I so want that irrigation system. Happy gardening Sarah ..

    1. HI Julie. I try to be so good with my planting distances, but there are some many seedlings and not enough garden. I guess the difference is knowing they are two close and making plans to lessen the issues that can come from it, vs planting closely and not knowing you’ve done it. Lessons learnt from way back… 1000 lettuces don’t go in a space suitable for um… 8!
      Still working on my irrigation system – I need all the beds to have some kind of hose, dripper or sprinkler so I can then attempt to automate it all. Can’t wait.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Hobbit. I wish we could. They should really go out after the risk of frost has past in Oct and then they are normally all done by the first frost in Apr-May. While it would be nice to have home grown pumpkin for Christmas there isn’t normally any left by then. It would more likely show up in a roast pumpkin salad, than in a pudding! Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. I never “plant” pumpkins. I just throw all of the seeds from the pumpkin that I eat into the compost bin and they plant themselves. They grow like topsy, close together, far apart, they aren’t fussy. Best I let the pumpkins sort out their own rank and file because as soon as I start to try to direct the flow they stop growing and croak! I got 3 French radishes that grew from my first row of radishes and 2 of them were chewed by slugs. Back to the drawing board! Love the asparagus peeking out and your soil looks lovely. Mine is about to set rock hard for the summer…sigh…

    1. Hi Fran. This is a fundamental flaw in my garden – I don’t have a proper compost system – I have a heap. I am hoping to sort this out this season. – There I said it. Watch this space.
      Keep adding organic material to your soil and one day it will surprize you by not setting rock hard. Enjoy your radish!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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