Wait one moment, I’ll be with you directly.

The garden has been so patient, waiting for me and the weather.  Getting this garden planted out is really happening in fits and starts.  Yesterday was so foggy, misty, and drizzly that it wasn’t worth going out.  It was the kind of humid that soaks into your bones and I decided not to attempt it.  The last thing I need right now is to catch a normal cold and worry endlessly about it being the ‘other’ one, in spite of no one going anyway except Hubby the Un-Gardener clicking and collecting gardening supplies for me and shopping for food. 

Gloomy day
Yup – not a gardening day.

Today was a better day.  It was still gloomy, but I could see to the end of the garden, which is always good.  The upside is the plants are loving the conditions and the ones that are planted are settling in nicely and the ones still to be planted aren’t getting as stressed as they would on a sunny day.   It eases my mind a little, although I still feel a sense of urgency and a sense of responsibility.  I brought them into this world and now they are sitting around restrained in pots when they should be free and stretching their roots.     There isn’t long to go now.  The cucumber bed just needs the last crop to be eaten – I think we may be eating celeriac all week!  Once it’s gone, I can give the soil some love and set up structures and plant the cucumbers.    

Sweetcorn seeds
The string line came out again when planting the sweetcorn. It doesn’t matter so much when they are big, but as little plants the wonky lines bother me a little bit too much!

The leafy green bed just needs a weed and a love and then they can go in.   The Melons need to grow a little bigger and the temperatures need to warm up a little more for the Okra, so their leaves don’t drop off upon planting like they have done in previous years.  This year I’m keeping them warm in the greenhouse until it is warmer outside.

radish seeds
I popped the radish in a row between the lettuce. One or other of them will be gone before the other, although at this point its anyone’s guess as to who it will be.

And the Tomatoes are getting desperate.  But I need give the soil love and build their structures and then I can plant them out.  However, Hubby the Un-Gardener had to go back to collect an essential item that got clicked but not collected, so as soon as I have everything I need then they can get my full attention.

I did sow the parsnip seeds quite close to this potato that grew from one left in the bed last season, but it has flowers on it, which means it’s almost done, so who am I to cut it down before its prime – which will probably be in another few weeks?!

The things that have been weighing on my mind lately have been the seeds I like to direct sow.   Because they aren’t as physically present and demanding as plants, I put them to one side to sow later.  I began to worry if I didn’t plant them soon enough it will be too late.  It won’t be too late, as the seed sowing window is open for another month or so, with a good chance of getting a full harvest.  But I worried nonetheless. 

I sowed more seeds this year, and closer together as last year I learnt I really liked them and also they can handle being closer than I had them last year.

So today I gathered all the seeds that need direct sowing into the soil and delivered them into their new positions.   The soil was warm and damp, perfect for sowing seeds and then as soon as I came inside it started to rain, so they will be off to a good start and I certainly won’t need to worry about them drying out, not for a while if the weather forecast is anything to go by. 

Snake beans
These Snake Beans are one of my few climbing plants and I am wary that they are in a direct line with the gate, so I will need to be more diligent of shutting the windbreak top half if wind is likely.

I sowed parsnips and radish, that prefer to be directly sown.  I’ve been meaning to sow the parsnips for weeks, or probably months.  I added more carrots from a fresh seed packet to the carrot row a couple of days ago because the half a dozen that had only popped up from 3 previous sowings were bugging me.  Hopefully I’ll get a good thick row there.

kidney beans
I have taken the bold move of planting the beans at the minimum planting distance of 10cm apart with and heir and a spare but with 50cm between the rows. I think I’ve given them too much space in previous years – but time will tell.

Next, I sowed the sweetcorn and the beans.  There are too many plants to fill the bed to be bothered trying to manage them in pots.  And they do just fine planting straight into the soil I always sow extra, like how a friend pointed out – ‘an heir and spare’ into each hole.  I either remove the weakest one or relocate it to a spot nobody came up in.  And I like to pop a dozen down the side of the bed in case I need to fill gaps.  It is always better to do it that way than trying to fill a gap with seeds that will be 3 weeks behind all the other plants.  Things grow fast in the warm weather. 

To make way for the cucumbers today’s kitchen gardening is processing all this silverbeet and getting it into the freezer. Waste not want not and all that.

I also sowed a row of peas for succession planting.  The current row isn’t looking great – the birds have been pecking at it mercilessly.  The new peas have no protection or support structures at this point, but I figure I have 7 – 10 days to worry about that.  Other things need my time.    

It was a nice time in the garden pushing large seeds into warm soil up to my first knuckle.  But even better still, I feel the weight lifted as there is one less thing to worry about as I get closer to having it all done.   Not long now.

Come again soon – a couple of good pushes and the garden will be planted.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

9 thoughts on “Wait one moment, I’ll be with you directly.

  1. I’m interested in how you process your silverbeet/chard. In your photo, you harvested it down to roots to make way for cucumbers it says. But normally you just harvest select leaves, right? Does your chard last over many seasons when cut down to roots like this? It grows easily here in Northern California, but I often neglect mine and then it bolts. But maybe I can prune to roots as you did and have it regrow for another season? If so, is it still as tender? Also, do you process it in some way before freezing? You’ve probably mentioned this before and I missed it. -lisa

    1. Over the season I just pick all the leaves. In my garden they last about a year in the garden when planted in the spring before beginning to bolt, which is perfect timing to clear them out and start new ones in the next bed in my crop rotation. I gave the bolted bits to our goat and chickens and the best leaves went into the kitchen where I triple washed them and spin them dry and then vacuum packed them in meal sized portions and put them in the freezer. It is handy to just have them on hand when in a hurry or it is cold and dark outside and you don’t want to venture into the garden. I dug the roots up and popped them in the compost. It grow easily enough from seed and is abundant so I don’t tend to try to keep them and as a biennial in the second season it will just be trying to set seed rather than give the abundant leafy growth it does in the first season. I hope this helps. : o)

  2. It always makes me stop for a moment to realize that when our gardens are being put to bed, yours are just beginning. Happy gardening, Sarah! I shall miss my own, especially in the depths of our Canadian winter.

  3. How do you persuade parsnips to grow?
    I sowed a whole row (1m) into a lovely bed of garden mix and after about three and a half weeks, I have a grand total of one seedling in that row (and I’m really hoping it’s not a lettuce that got lost).

    1. Parsnips are quite fickle. The first and most important thing is make sure the seeds are fresh, they don’t keep well so it needs to be a new packet or saved seed from the last season. And the soil needs to be at least 10C but the warmer the soil the faster they’ll sprout. Keep the soil moist while they germinate. Some people pre sprout them on paper towel in zip lock bag in a warm place and then carefully sow the ones that have germinated but it can be a bit of a phaff. I hope this helps and all the best with it. : o)

  4. Where are you gardening from? Our growing season is done as we prepare for winter in Oklahoma. I chuckled when you said you worry about your little seedlings as you started them (paraphrasing). Yep, I worry about that too! For now, seed catalogs will wait for the cold January winds to browse and dream of planting again. 🌱🌱🌱❤️

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