Making May Count … Again…

Historically May has been my least productive month.  I prematurely convinced myself that it is close enough to winter that I might as well just settle down in the warmth and cosiness of indoors and wait for things to get better outside.  The thing is, May isn’t really that bad in the grand scheme of things and it should really be spent finishing off projects and getting things ticked off the ‘to do’ list, while we still can.  Winter may seem like a long drawn-out season, but each year I’m almost surprised by how quickly it comes to an end, so not a moment should be wasted as there are always things to do.  So, for the last few years I have challenged myself to #MayMayCount and get stuff done.

A rainy day
A dismal start to the month.

This year we aren’t off to a great start.  There is an ‘atmospheric river’ flowing through the nation right now and the extended weather forecast only has big black rainy cloud icons for the next ten days.  That is a third of the month!  And goodness knows what lies beyond the outer reaches of the extended forecast.  I’m either going to have to get creative or embrace my red raincoat or May won’t count for anything!

weather forecast for May 1st 2023
This is not something I was pleased to see on the first day of my month of productivity.

If I’m optimistic there seems like there could be gaps in the rain according to the 48-hour forecast, so I’m going to have to be a bit flexible with my planning and seize these opportunities between the outpours to make any kind of progress.  As soggy as it is, I doubt it would rain solidly for 30 days and 30 nights! So, I shall write my lists as though it will be ok.

Sigh… this was weed free recently. Why oh why didn’t I just run the hoe around… now I have to actually get on my hands and knees and pull stuff out! It isn’t so bad and won’t take ages and won’t be difficult but it could have been easier. Past me is feeling shamefaced!

This week I have a couple of goals – finish tackling my weedy areas, and get my cover crops in.    I have been working hard on the weedy areas, as it really doesn’t take much for things to get out of control.  I’ve been away a lot already this year and there are several major events on the calendar that will take me away again.  It isn’t just the away time that causes problems but the before and after prep and catch up that causes deep neglect if it is allowed to take priority.

Sector one - weeded and tended to
It looks a little messy and soggy, but strong winds whipped through yesterday and it is late autumn. But even so I took the hoe around the paths and removed the tiniest signs of green life and evicted anything from the beds I didn’t want in there. I can happily say sector one on Monday 1st May has been taken care of and has Jasper the Dog’s seal of approval!

My handy helper and I have been doing some deep work in the garden over the last while and have made great progress, but we aren’t there yet.  The key to staying in control is each week is to go back over the work already done before getting into the big jobs.  This is where my sector system is working well.  Each day I set the timer for one hour and take care of the needs of one of the five areas in the garden, whipping out tiny weeds, hoeing the paths and anything else that needs attention.  If there is still time on the timer then I move on to a bigger job.  I’m pleased to say progress is being made with the aim that some time soon there will be no big jobs left and the whole garden will just need a quick tickle.

Garden awaiting cover crops
This bed has taunted me for weeks – it is good to go, aside from the weeds trying to sneak in. It just needs a sprinkle of mustard seeds for a green manure it won’t take long at all. I have no idea why I have been procrastinating, wasting all those fine days, and now there is nothing but rainy days ahead for as far as the eye can see. Present me is very annoyed with past me.

The cover crops are more of a worry.  I should have done it last month and I have no excuse.  And now with all the rain I worry that the seeds will rot in the ground.  I’m toying with the idea of putting a tarp or something over the bed to protect the seeds from excessive rain and from creatures like birds and rodents who are out in full force looking for an easy meal.  I think that is what I’ll do…  Before the end of the week.

Oh and I want to move this eggplant into the greenhouse before it gets too bashed by the wind or the temperatures drop too much. It has barely produced anything yet and I want to give it a chance!

I could write a massively long ‘to do’ list, but I don’t want to scare myself off.  The last thing I need is for procrastination to set in.  And I’m only looking at an hour in the garden each day except three on Tuesdays with my Handy Helper that wonderfully turns into six hours between the two of us.  I think 10 hours a week in the garden at this time of year isn’t unreasonable.  That leaves the rest of my time for computer gardening.  To make sure I stay on top of all of my commitments, I need to move everything forward together, spending a little bit of time on each one, so no project gets left behind in a panic.  If I get this right, I have plenty of time for everything.

If the weather does rain for 30 days and 30 nights I have all these lovely houseplants to play with for a deadline based project so I can garden indoors, so it isn’t all bad!

Making May count this year seems to have its own set of challenges compared to previous years, but I’m up for it!  If you find May a bit sluggish, then join me in #MakingMayCount and we’ll all get stuff done!

Come again soon – things are about to get busy!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

3 thoughts on “Making May Count … Again…

  1. Is this ‘atmospheric river’ a new concept for your region, or is it merely a new designation for a weather pattern that happens every few years or so? The atmospheric river that went through here last winter was the most extreme since 1982, but is otherwise nothing new.

    1. I think the word ‘storm’ has been overused recently so they had to get creative. But actually I think it is a thing, the reports say it is a subtropical low moving south bringing periods of heavy rain and easterly gales. It has once again caused chaos and damage to our already sodden land. : o)

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