Goal setting for the garden

Ten days into the new year and I was hoping to be able to give you my list of New Year’s Resolutions that would revolutionise the way I garden making it efficient, motivating and inspiring and have that satisfying “Duh… while didn’t I always do it like that?”.  But I’ve got nothing.   The thing that springs to my mind most frequently when I think about this is to keep the beds weed free all year – in other words keep on top of the sector systems even in the dead of winter.

We got tomatoes … finally

This should make things easy in spring because there is normally a dry patch in early spring where the beds can be given a tickle to get them ready for the new season.  But if you miss this because the beds are horrendously weedy or life keeps you from the garden, then it tends to rain and rain and more rain and you go from being almost ready for spring to running way behind and the poor wee seedlings sit in pots way to long waiting for wet, soggy beds to dry out and be given the all clear to prep for the season.

The weather may be gloomy, but my sunflowers bring me sunshine

I could also legitimately try to keep my citrus plants alive, because let’s face it – although I called it a success last year, I think leaving it until 10 days before the year ends is probably cheating a little.  They seem to be doing well so far in their pots and the lime has new growth and I’ve even remembered to feed them with citrus food.  I’ll have a lemon for a refreshing G&T before I know it.

New growth on lime plants
Lime coloured new growth on my lime plant. I wonder if that is intentional or a really cool coincidence.

Aside from that, I’ve got no idea.  Working in the garden normally fills me with inspiration, but with a holiday season plonked in the middle of my growing season, what little time I have had for gardening has been spent being reactive rather than proactive.  It has been head down, bum up and not a lot of room for the luxury of pondering and wondering at the amazing garden that is growing before me.

Onions ready for harvest
Onions ready for harvest… now to find the time to harvest them… summer holidays can be so inconvenient. (Don’t get me wrong I do love them – its just… well… my onions need me.)

My head is full of the immediate needs – the onions in the greenhouse have dried out nicely and now need hanging up.  The onions in the garden need lifting and popping into the greenhouse where the others currently are.  Then the desperate melons need putting in their place in the garden.  I don’t hold out much hopes for a melon harvest this year as the onions are a lot slower due to a gloomy, soggy cold season.  Although the delay that slowed the onions may work in the favour of the poor melons – so long as the weather does improve eventually.

Melon seedlings
These melon seedlings are dying to be planted before they die from not being planted

Then there are potatoes that need to come up.  I managed to get my hands on some more to pop in to get a last sneaky crop before the end of the season.  I have some Osprey and Rudolf ready to go.  I’ve never seen these varieties before so are keen to try them.  I was going to make some amazing play on burying reindeers on Christmas day.  Out with the Jersey Bennes and in with old Rudolf.  But who was I kidding (myself mostly) if I thought I’d be out there on Christmas day or Boxing day for that matter planting potatoes!  So the whole reindeer thing has kind of lost its humorous point and returned being just ordinary potatoes.

Potato plants in the late stages of life
Potato plants in the late stages of life look so messy. Wouldn’t it be lovely (and aesthetically pleasing) if they stayed lush right until the very end…

There is always something that needs urgent attention in the garden, but I do prefer the more sedate pace of a well organised garden, and so I’ll do my best to create this in the garden this year.     The other thing is, it just seems odd to be creating goals and plans while halfway through something.  It is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.   Maybe what I should be doing is taking great notes and recording details and in the dead of winter then come up with my resolutions for the new season, learning from the mistakes of this season – because lets face it, there will be.

Let me know what plans and goals you have so I can either shamelessly borrow them to improve my garden or wish you well with your endeavours and cheer you on along the way.

Come again soon – the weather may not say summer with its gloomy overcast days, but the tomatoes are here so it must be summer.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

11 thoughts on “Goal setting for the garden

  1. Nothing too exciting here other than put in more vegetables than last year, and probably plant onions again as a deterent to pests on the tomatoes and the peppers. Oh and lots more peppers to spice things up. Ha!!

    1. I think as you get more experienced in the garden you are actually less inclined to try the weird and unusual and just stick with what you know and what works. Have said that I have planted a wide range of mild peppers this year and can’t wait to see how they turn out. : o)

  2. Sarah you are a beacon of sunshine to me in the snowy mountains of Virginia in the USA. Right now we still are seeing the remnants of our first significant snow, only three inches worth this round, but enough to send me into mourning for the items you currently enjoy.

    I think all gardeners are blessed with the feeling of optimism when they first begin the growing season that this time will be the one I get it right. I made a change last year that helped tremendously when I listened to my wife’s idea and finally erected the first raised bed of our 24 year gardening adventure. The tomatoes we enjoyed were well worth the effort. Weeds were minimal while the pests, groundhogs here, were not able to get their bean-filled bellies up the 20 inch wall.

    Those sunflowers are particularly lovely, but I assume they are a variety produced where you are from so not necessarily available in the states. I have a photo of sunflowers we grew and I planted the seeds so heavily we had a large range of flower head sizes from wee beauties to gigantic ones and I have never been able to replicate that feat. I want to give it a go this year however. Thanks for the mid-winter inspiration.

    1. Hi Joe. Thanks for your lovely comment. I do love my raised beds, and the main reason I put them in was because the ground here floods for a period in the winter and so I wasn’t able to grow year round in our mild climate.
      The sunflowers where from a mixed packet called Bronze Shades and it is nice to see all the variety.
      You will be back in your garden before you know it.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  3. Hey, thanks for another Like on my blog:) So exciting to get them when you are just starting in the world of blogging 🙂 It was a good move to start following your blog:) After reading this post I’m even more excited about my own garden, which in comparison to yours is really tiny. But one of my new years resolutions is to increase the size and learn more about permaculture:) Next move is to check what can I plant for my ‘winter crops’

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. I always have mixed feelings about having to start the winter garden while summer is still in full swing. All the best with your garden this year. : o)

Leave a Reply