Rain – it’s never there when you need it!

For the last week it has been windy and raining with heaps of scary thunder and lightning.  The ground went all soggy and boggy.  Then finally the clouds cleared – well enough to create the illusion of an end to it all and we even got a beautiful rainbow to show that it was all over.

Surely this means no more rain?

Surely this means no more rain?

So there was one thing for it.  It was Saturday; I hadn’t got my hands dirty in ages so on with the gumboots, beanie and gloves. It felt so good, the sun was shining weakly through the clouds, the ground had dried out a little – there was no longer surface water lying about and I was in my element.

The first job was repotting seedlings that I had begun to develop guilt issues over.  They had been in their seed trays for so long I was sure they would be root bound.  But luckily not – well not too bad anyway.   Then the winter tomatoes where planted into their final winter abode – into buckets filled with so many goodies and nutrients that words my mum always said to us when we had lots of sweets sprung to mind and I hope they not eat them all at once!

And now all I have to do is wait...

And now all I have to do is wait…

At this point the tomatoes look very healthy.  They even have flowers. The best one is one that self-seeded in the garden in the summer and looked like an ideal candidate for my winter greenhouse tomato undertaking, but I have no idea what it will be as I grew 10 varieties of tomato over the summer, so I shall have to wait and see.  I also sowed seed from my favourite summer cherry tomato – strawberry tomato.  I grew it in the greenhouse last year and it was really successful and all the sweeter for the slow growing that plants tend to do in the winter.

Brandy the Escape Artist Chicken seems to enjoy hanging out with me in the garden

Brandy the Escape Artist Chicken seems to enjoy hanging out with me in the garden

The problem is I couldn’t help myself and I sowed 6 and they all grew and now they are all strong, with flowers on them.  It is not practical space wise in the greenhouse to grow them all so I selected the 3 strongest – more than I originally planned and put them in buckets.  But when I looked at the other 3 just sitting there, I just couldn’t allow fate to take its course – I couldn’t let them die on the compost heap, so I potted them up into 10cm pots and will see how they do as a kind of bonsai tomato.  Better to die as a result of a misguided experiment that had a remote possibility of working than to just die as waste.

Next I turned my attention to the mesculun tray that was burgeoning with more seedlings than was ideal for its size.  The time had come to plant them out into the big old garden.  Working in my favour with these salad plants is they actually prefer cooler weather and things grow slower in the winter, so they shouldn’t bolt to seed in a hurry and may even last us all winter.  Having said that I have no idea what frost will do to them.

Salad seedlings protected from slugs, snails, chickens, cats and any other thing with it's heart set on destruction!

Salad seedlings protected from slugs, snails, chickens, cats and any other thing with it’s heart set on destruction!

Once all this was done I was knackered.  I looked to the sky and it looked like there was a chance it may rain again, so instead of going to the effort of pulling out the hose or lugging heavy watering cans, I figured it would take care of itself.  But when I went out this morning to check I found it hadn’t and my seedlings were still lying on their sides waiting for some kind of revival.   Then ever so briefly a burst of rain came in thick and fast on an angle with fat raindrops, only to vanish as quickly as it came leaving behind that thin winter sun that we have begun to grow grateful for at this time of year.

Come again soon – who knows what it’ll be like, you just never know where you are with the weather in the autumn.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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15 Comments on “Rain – it’s never there when you need it!

  1. We are very jealous of the greenhouse.

    We somehow like the idea of the bonsai tomato. If there is tomato “karma” they will give you the best tomatoes you ever had, but only one per plant…;-)

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    • Hi there. I just couldn’t bring myself to throw the extra tomatoes out! I’m the same when it comes to thinning out seedlings – I just cant do it, because it seems like such a waste. A bit silly really! Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Love the photo of the rainbow! We’ve had a lot of rain here lately, and a few recent days of sunshine. Woo hoo! Today hubby transplanted some of our seedlings into bigger containers. It’s funny about the tomatoes – we ALWAYS have a gazillion tomato plants, just to be sure we get at least *some* tomatoes before the varmints or the weather get them.

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    • Hi there. I love watching everyone else in the world grow their tomatoes and other veggies. It is so cool to go back to a garden on the other side of the world and see how much bigger the plants have got. It definitely makes the cool seasons less bleak. I hope you can keep those pests away from your crops so you can enjoy them. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. We either have too much or too little rain don’t we! By the way love dyour description of you pulling on your boots and beanie. It was like reading about me 🙂

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    • Hi Claire. If I don’t get into the garden as often as I’d like, I go a little stir crazy. I think I may be addicted to gardening. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. I just found you when reading through some of “The New Home Economics” posts that I just subscribed to yesterday. Love your blog…love that you are closer to us than most other blogs that I read (We are in Tasmania) and love that you are doing what we are trying to do. I just subscribed to read about your adventures and what you are up to. Love the blog 🙂

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    • Hi there. Thank you so much for your kind words. It is good to read about what gardeners on the other side of the world are doing when its all cold and wintery here, but its even better to see what those around you are actually doing, which can spur you into action. I really need to start thinking about planting garlic. Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Thanks. In an unheated greenhouse the worst thing that could happen is they freeze to death, but I like to look on the bright side – so I’m looking forward to eating bonsai tomatoes! Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Thanks. I hadn’t seen Brandy out and about as much in the last couple of days and so when I saw her I followed her and she has a nest of 12 eggs in the hedge… and we only just got rid of the extra roosters from the last lot! But I’m a sucker for cute little chicks! Cheers Sarah : O )

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      • Awww…I’m a sucker for them too. I’m so glad there is an ocean and several continents between us, or I’d be tempted to take some of them off your hands! 🙂

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