Half In Half Out

Well the boffins were wrong – it didn’t rain at all this weekend, in fact it hasn’t rained in ages and the top 10 cm of unmulched, unplanted soil is bone dry.  We haven’t had any significant rain in a couple of weeks and what we have had is that misty stuff that doesn’t sink in.  The boffins are suggesting showers this weekend but to be honest I don’t believe them.

Rake and irrigation
A couple of my ‘go to’ tools this weekend – the rake to smooth the beds and the irrigation hubs to moisten the soil ready for the new plants.

So, this weekend was the fabulous average last frost date with the Monday off as well to make it extra special.  I point all my efforts towards this magical date so I can get the garden planted out.  The seeds are all started with this date in mind.  But I really think I need to let go of this traditional viewpoint for several reasons.

floral display
The random unplanned and neglected flower dumping area is putting on a lovely display of snap dragons and poppies which are framed nicely by the arch that will soon have luffa scrambling up it.

Firstly, we don’t get a frost – so I can go earlier.  Heck I can grow sunflowers all year round.  And with the constant adjustments we are making to the wind protection, I think my seedlings are certainly safer than they were last season, and definitely the one before! 

It looks like a garden load of seedlings but I’ll only need about a quarter of all of these as these are also my back ups and spares… Once I am satisfied I won’t be needing them – I’ll find them new homes.

Secondly, the weekend is normally bound up with my birthday, or the week leading up to or away from it, as it is a moveable holiday on the calendar.  The thought of spending my birthday in the garden is a fabulous thought, however in reality is completely antisocial as my family and friends want to celebrate with me.  And to be honest it is nice to be celebrated occasionally. 

This isn’t a bad way to spend a sunny day. If this lovely weather is anything to go by then this summer will be amazing!

This year it was a big birthday and warranted big celebrations, so we celebrated for days.  There were no chores done on the actual day – because those are the rules in our house and then there was a day of actual celebrating.  Then because the weather was so perfect we threw in another day of complete relaxation. With each passing birthday this seems to become more essential on the day after!

Garden plans
It was good to have the garden plans as a guide. It took a lot of the thinking out of it… although I almost squeezed in an extra row of popcorn but it would have caused problems for the soybeans.

That just left one day in the garden for planting it all out.  It was never going to happen – there are too many plants and I was a tad disappointed that I didn’t ‘plant out the garden’ on Labour Weekend.  But then I remembered it is pretty much my job so I can do it all this week.  My aim is to get it all done by the end of the week as the sooner the plants are in the ground the sooner they will burst into life.  I also get to enjoy that sweet spot where there aren’t many seedlings in small pots to manage and the harvest is modest so I can do simple tasks like washing pots or embarking on crazy projects. 

seedlings and seaweed tonic
Every plant that goes in to the garden gets a soak in seaweed tonic to help reduce transplant shock and promote healthy root growth.

Once it is all done I’ll make a video tour so I can proudly show it all off to you and also, so I have a reference to look back on.  While the plants look a healthy size now compared to when they sprouted, it will only be a few weeks before these look tiny. 

tomato garden
The tomatoes are in. After last years tomato disease I feel a little nervous. I cut the number of plants back by 2 to give them a little more space.

I have to keep reminding myself that we are still in the middle of spring.  The crazy mixed up weather feels like the middle of summer….  But I don’t trust it for a minute.  There have been killing frosts in November before and 3 weeks ago I was wearing a beanie and watching my breath!   It may be nice now…  but I don’t trust it.

Come again soon – I have high hopes for a full planting by the end of the week.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

3 thoughts on “Half In Half Out

  1. I think we got your weekend rain. Unfortunately our soil is clayey rather than sandy and really didn’t need the help! Still, the tomatoes haven’t actually drowned, and the peas and brassicas seem to be fairly happy, so Mustn’t Grumble.

    1. Half of me wants to apologise to you – sorry about sending the rain, but the other half of me wishes we had at least some of it because things are getting dry here. When I gardened in the swamp an hours rain can set the spring garden prep back a week while waiting for everything to dry out again. It is good to start the season of with good wet soil. : o)

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