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.
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.
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!
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 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!
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.
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.
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)