20 days until spring

Not counting today and not that I’m counting…  actually, that is a lie.  Of course I’m counting.    It is all a bit hectic here as I race to get the garden ‘spring ready’ for this self-imposed deadline.  If I’m honest with myself, nothing much will change on the 1st of September in the garden, except I’ll probably start sowing a few seeds to get things going.  And then I will carry on getting ready for the next gardening deadline, the great safe from frost planting out date in late October.

Seed starting station
The seed starting station in the greenhouse is ready and waiting.

But even then for me this is a bit of a misnomer as we don’t get frosts here.  It was a chilly 4°C here this morning and it has been colder but never a frost.  I am putting my feelers out there a little bit more boldly each year and start things just a little bit earlier.   In the old frosty swamp garden, I wouldn’t dream of starting my tomatoes in August, and would wait for the momentous first day of spring to get them going.  But this year I will try to give them a two week head start and start them next week, with the aim to get them in the garden two weeks earlier in October.  While it isn’t the boldest move, it does feel a little brave.

pepper seedlings
Hello little green faces. I’m sorry I shouted at you. All of the pepper seed trays are spending their nights on heat mats and their days in the greenhouse where it gets to a toasty warm temperature in the high 20Cs. It is really nice to just hang out in there too!

I’ve done the same thing with my peppers.  I started them about three weeks ago at the end of July, instead of on the 1st of August.  I had them on a heat pad in my office and in spite of giving them the best of care while they are right there in front of me, they just sat there and did nothing.  In the end I threatened them.  I told them if they didn’t show their faces I was going to start a new batch that will rise up and take their place.  I was quite mean to them and blow me down if there weren’t half a dozen little green shoots popping up the very next day.  I sowed more…  just in case so I will probably end up with too many for my troubles.

The view of the garden from the swing seat
The view of the garden from the swing seat at the end of a busy week is the best place to take it all in

And in the meantime, I will continue to cross things off my list, chopping down cover crops and getting beds ready so they can settle down and be ready to receive plants when the time comes.   Hopefully, my self-imposed sense of panic to get everything done in time comes together for a feel good spring, where I can just potter about the garden doing what needs to be done, rather than putting everything on the increasingly urgent ‘I’ll get to you later’ list. 

Come again soon – I have a good feeling about this new season.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)


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