Bulbous tasks

I don’t know about you but sometimes I tend to put things off.  First it starts with ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ and moving the intended chore by a few hours doesn’t seem that harmless.  Then life gets in the way and a day becomes a week.  Then other pressing things come up and you’re faced with the choice – ‘which do I move to the bottom of the list – the old stuff or the new stuff?’  And then you figure ‘well the old stuff has waited this long already – another day won’t hurt.’  But it never is just another day.  Then before you know it, it becomes a monkey on your back and you don’t want to face it because it wracks you with guilt.  So, it gets pushed back even further, until it is almost too late.  Does anyone else know this feeling?

Early Pearl Garlic
I’m excited to be growing Early Pearl Garlic as last year they were affected the least by the rust and grew the strongest.

Well, it kind of happened to me, but not quite as extreme, but I’ve had loads of bulbs sitting on my desk in their packaging for too long, begging me to release them into the soil.  The early garlic was purchased nice and early and was ready and waiting, but unfortunately the weather made my procrastination even worst.  But after the rusty fiasco of the last couple of years, my ‘she’ll be right – this is an easy crop that you just plant and forget’ attitude is long gone.  This is a crop that needs to be gently cossetted and pampered so it is as healthy as it can be.

Early Purple Garlic
This Early Purple Garlic is champing at the bit to get going, it has already started to sprout.

After repeated ‘weather events’ as the boffins like to call them, my poor garden is completely sodden.  The first storm blew in 163ml of rain, then two weeks later we had a further 56mls and three days after that we had another 54mls.  The ground can’t take any more.  It is sodden and spent a large part of this week with a shiny, ankle deep covering of water.  So, I’m a bit reluctant to put my garlic into this soggy soil as there is a high chance it could rot before it even starts.   Then my decision was made when the boffins suggested that the horrible cyclone that ravished Australia this week is going to dump its dregs on us next week.  It won’t be much in the grand scheme of category 4, but there will still be a bit of juice in it when it gets here.  But even a tablespoon more water at the moment would cause problems.

Preparing for planting garlic cloves
I have prepared a lovely rich blend of potting mix, compost, blood and bone and a handful of Yates Dynamic Lifter. Besides being too soggy, it isn’t a good idea to use garden soil in pots because it compacts and isn’t suitable. It is also a good idea to make holes in the soil first, because pushing the cloves straight into the soil can damage the base plate where the roots will grow from.

So, I planted my early garlic in pots in the greenhouse.   It isn’t reaching the lofty temperature heights it was a few weeks ago.  We are well on our way into the cool autumnal weather, so it should be fine in there for now.  Once the weather settles down to something less soggy, because surely it can’t rain all through the winter like this, then I’ll transfer it out into the big garden.  Although I am prepared to repot it into bigger pots if necessary.  This year I am determined to get decent garlic.

Garlic clove
Ideally they should be planted 7 – 10cm deep, and I would if the soil wasn’t so soggy

While I was in the garden I planted out my saffron bulbs.  I’m going to be rich because saffron is very expensive.  Having said that I only have three corms and they only produce three strands each so I think I may be a tad optimistic.   They were also supposed to be planted in February, outside.  But my procrastination, busy lifestyle and the rain caused delays.  But I figure in the greenhouse will keep them safe from the soggies and the greenhouse feels like a warm February day so she’ll be right.

Saffron corms
With these corms I shall make my fortune.

Finally, I planted my bonus daffodils that I got in a buy one get one free offer.  I only needed one bag for a community project so was left with a bag with nowhere to go.  Once again, the soggy conditions are not suited to bulbs, and all the areas of higher ground that can host bulbs already have them.  Then I found some lovely green pots in a half-price sale that would do just fine and I popped them in.  I’ve probably put them a bit close but she’ll be right.   I’ve put these out on the deck because if they do get the wet in the next shower they will at least be able to drain away.

Daffodil bulbs
The instructions that came with these daffodil bulbs did say plant in ‘bold clumps’.

It felt so good get my hands in soil that wasn’t sodden.   It will be a long time before I can dig in the garden.  It didn’t feel so good though to have a muddy squelch up between my toes.  I would have worn my gumboots but they may have been a little wet.

Come again soon – I have an exciting crop to share.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

2 thoughts on “Bulbous tasks

  1. We’re having the same…rain every other day, if not every day…huge downpours with noisy thunder…and last night 1″ hail in early evening and again a bit later. I’ve been thinking of planting potatoes in pots, because our forecast is for 7 more rainy days out of 9! And I imagine my pea seeds are already rotting…..

    1. Hi Carolee. We are expecting even more rain this week. I get the only advantage is it isn’t cold. I have already had two attempts at peas rot in the ground and now have some almost ready in the greenhouse. I hope things ease for you soon. : o)

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