It’s slowly drying out

It has been an interesting week.  It hasn’t rained for a start.  Well not much.  These days rain doesn’t count unless it is bucketing down.  And Sunday doesn’t count as this week, because if it did then I would have to say we had yet more torrential rain and we ended up with surface water across the lawn and paths again.  So I’m happy to put Sunday as part of last week.   Things are still a little sticky out there, but its drying out… again.

The greenhouse has been my saving grace – it gave me gardening activities to do on rainy days and now it is so full there is hardly any spare space in there.

Most of this week was spent doing what I like to call panic speed weeding as I had a lovely garden group come to visit me on Wednesday and between having a mostly sodden garden and few sunny days over the last few weeks, I’ve been a bit anxious.  But somehow I managed to pull it off and most of the garden looked weeded and cared for and we had a lovely time.  The sun even came out with a bit of a sting in and I ended up with unexpected sunburnt shoulders!  I will now have to reach for the sunscreen and my hat before entering the garden from now on.

Tomato seedlings
There are plenty of wonderful tomato seedlings in the greenhouse – this year I have 20 different varieties including some new ones I can’t wait to try.

There is still the back row – the Friday sector to deal with.  The poor Friday Sector – I start with a whiz and a bang on a Monday and that sector always looks good.  Which is just as well as it is the front row.  But by the time Friday rolls round the poor back row may potentially suffer a touch of neglect.  I don’t entirely blame myself, as it seems to be the wettest part of the garden and so it takes longer to dry out and to be honest I don’t actually think it has dried out since it started raining in March!  The poor raspberries drowned in the April floods.  They have gone and there is no signs of spring life from their neglected corner.  I have bought some new ones and have raised the bed higher, but haven’t been able to fill it up because the lovely swamp soil is too wet and sticky to dig up.   The same goes for my poor rhubarb.  That needs raising too.   I have a lot of things just waiting for the conditions to improve.  In the meantime the back row is raging out of control in an otherwise orderly garden.

Chaos and havoc reigned in the onion overflow bed for months as the pukeko’s kept pulling them all out. I did mistakenly blame the chickens for a while until I saw a white tail flitting against black feathers wander leisurely away from the garden. Finally the plants are big enough for the birds to lose interest and my shallots have split – yay!

So aside from frenzied mowing, edging and weeding in the early part of the week, a delightful visit in the middle, a day off to rest and recover, today continued to be sunny and not knowing how long that would last I took the opportunity to get my potatoes in.   My Christmas Jersery Bennes are doing well in pots and need mounding up, and I have some Swift potatoes due out next week – hogging space in the greenhouse – I might begin to move them outside, but I’ll have to watch for late frosts.  This meant there was space for another row in the spud bed, so I added some Heather to the Ilam hardy, Rua and Waiporoporo I already had chitting for ages.  It felt good to get them in, as it is almost a month later than I normally plant them and the Rua – a variety I haven’t grown before but is a good keeper, which is why its commonly found in stores takes 160 days!  So I won’t be digging them up until some time in March!

Waiporoporo Potatoes
These Maori Potatoes have multi coloured skins with white flesh that is supposed to be great boiled with a lovely flavour. I can’t wait to try them in 110 days time! 

This is more for me but I planted the Waiporoporo on the left in the first row as they take 110 days, then the Heather and Ilam Hardy both take 130 days so I planted them next in alphabetical order and then finally on the right the Rua.  I also wrote the expected harvest day on the label and put it in my calendar like it is an appointment.  It is just as well the Ilam Hardy come out on the same day as the Heather as I may get a little confused about ‘Taking out Heather” at 10:00am on the 12th February next year!  I’d also like to pick up another 60 – 90 day variety for putting into pots once the Swift come out – to keep up a continuous supply.  We’ll have more spuds than we know what to do with!

The left side of the view from the swingseat
The left side of the view from the swingseat

The boffins are threatening heavy rain again this Sunday.  I’d like to pretend I didn’t see that, but I really can’t put off my strawberries any more.  The ideal time was back in July August, but the low lying bed in the soggy end of town just hasn’t dried out since then!  So I’m going to take the plunge – the poor things are beginning to fruit and are in such a neglected state.  So that is my Saturday job.  Sorting out ever so slightly still sodden strawberries.  It has to be done and then I can stop worrying about them!

The right side of the view from the swingseat
The right side of the view from the swingseat

Come again soon – there are loads of tasks of varying sizes to be done before we can slip into the gentle ebb and flow of weeding, watering and waiting for the harvest.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)


2 thoughts on “It’s slowly drying out

  1. The garden looks great Sarah.

    So, 20 varieties of tomato huh? I’m pretty sure that makes you a tomato junky 😀 How many plants is that in total?

    Funny to think that as you’re dealing with burning sun (let’s forget the rain for now), we were wrapping the school pumpkin in a double layer of fleece to protect it from last nights’ frost, as it is still on the vine because it hasn’t turned fully orange yet!

    1. It is probably fair to say I’m a tomato junky! I am restrained in that there will only be one of each going into the garden but as far as seedlings go – there may be half a dozen of each… opps!
      The seasons haven’t quite switched yet. While your pumpkin is still green – you still have the growing season! When it stops raining here I think we can safely switch. Judging by our weather over the weekend you have plenty of time for the pumpkin to ripen. : o)

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