Herby Haircuts and System Changes

We haven’t had rain for 11 days and I couldn’t be happier!  The boffins are even alluding to there being no further rain for the next four days.  This is cause for celebration.   And what makes me even happier is the soil is no longer sodden.  The beds are pretty much dry and can be considered workable.  The grass around it is still a teeny weeny bit soft, but nothing that can cause harm so I’m back in there getting my hands dirty and having a fabulous time restoring order.

Garden beds
It just makes sense to maintain the beds in this direction

While working my way across the garden I had a thought.  I have decided to rejig my sector system to match the irrigation system.  The watering is done across the garden in quite a logical and orderly way from west to east following the rows of the garden.  My current sector system goes from south to north in a weird way as there is no logical division of the beds in this direction.

Garden sectors 2016
This is the old system from last year. While it worked well it was quite complicated and not logical at all.

It worked before because it was based around the reach of the 6 hose water distributor, as I had found it was easier to water one day and then weed and feed the next as the soil was receptive to the liquid feed in the summer into premoistened soil instead of running off the sun baked surface.  Also, there was the added benefit of weeds come out easier from moist soil.  So, it worked well – if not a little complicated.

Garden sectors 2017
The new sectors for 2017 which all weeding, feeding and watering will be done by. Although this plan will need to be adjusted to take into consideration the crop rotation before the spring.

The sector system worked really well this summer.  In the height of the season when it was working at it’s best I was able to go over 7 or 8 beds in as little as 20 minutes.  If I had an important visit then I could tickle the whole garden in under an hour.  The little and often theory is simple yet brilliant.

Before the rain these artichoke were lush flamboyant plants. Now they are a shadow of their former selves. I do hope they survive.

Even after 6 weeks of neglect due to the rain, it hasn’t really taken much effort to whip through the first couple of the new sectors although there have been some casualties.  I’m not sure if the artichokes will recover, so I’ve sown new seed.  They should be sown in spring but I’m impatient and hoping to trick them in the greenhouse.  Or I could dig up the struggling shoots – I’ll give them a bit of time to catch their breath first and then nurture them back to health and replant on higher ground.

Rudolph potatoes
These Rudolph potatoes managed to survive the flood and the rats. They are a good size too so I’m not complaining.

I had some sneaky late spuds in that in the midst of the rain got blight.  It was only to be expected considering the moisture floating around.  I nipped out between showers and removed the foliage and have only now dug up the spuds.  It was still a good harvest, all things considered.  The potatoes deeper into the mound had rotted, but the ones in the top half of the mound were fabulous – except the ones eaten by rats.  This is rather annoying, but vigilance in the garden can nip this kind of thing in the bud.  Another rain related problem, I wasn’t able to keep a close eye on things.

Rhubarb seedlings
The rhubarb seedlings are coming along nicely and have such lovely ruby red stalks. I hope they will be sweet and yummy.

Some of the herbs positively flourished in all of the wet weather and needed reining in.  Others not so much.  But there was something rewarding about getting back into the garden and whipping things into shape.  You can check out my herb garden here:

Now, with one eye on the weather forecast and another on the sunny weather I’m not wasting a moment to return my garden to a state I can be proud of.

Come again soon – I’m gardening and I like it!

Sarah the Gardener : o)




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