We woke to a foggy morning, but then that isn’t out of the ordinary down here on the swamp. But to our surprise it cleared to be the most incredible day ever! …well in a long while. It was one of those blue sky days without a cloud, without a breath of wind. But what made it special was it was warm. There wasn’t a hint of winter in the day. So there was only one thing to do with a day like this and that is to make the most of it – and make the most of it we did!
I finally got around to spraying the orchard to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases and hopefully will sort out the peach leaf curl. And it wasn’t a moment too soon. The buds are swelling and the Billington Plum looks like it is days away from breaking into blossom.
While I was in a spraying mood I dealt to the white flies in the greenhouse. Since I repaired it the other week I have had to look at it through a fresh pair of eyes. I can no longer see it as a crushed dream, but a keeper of dreams. Very soon it will hold the beginnings of new life in my garden – the hopes of a full and bountiful harvest come summers end. So I turned a blind eye to all the repairs and set about washing the walls with disinfectant and evicting forcibly any snails overwintering in what they thought was an ideal location, and yanked up any weeds that had sprung up in the cracks of the paving stones on the floor. I have re-arranged the shelves several times but suspect it will all go back to last year’s layout as it did work well. So with the impending sowing – the white fly had to go, after all spring is only three weeks away.
The next project for the day was to repair the chicken coop fence, not just because the chickens keep escaping, but it needs to be strong enough to temporarily house a couple of new tenants that arrive tomorrow. So I pulled Hubby the Un-Gardener away from his usual position behind a spade and got him to give me a hand. Originally we were just going to do our usual patch job, that – let’s face it – it’s ugly and doesn’t actually hold anyone within the coop for very long, until we struck upon a really cool idea. We had some old pailings lying about and not only did the holes get covered over, but the look of the coop is much improved. The only problem is the chickens are still getting out – there must be a hole somewhere else. I think I need to spy on the chickens.
The job Hubby the Un-Gardener was up to was just below repairing the coop on the list of things to do before spring. He was topping up my improved raised beds. I’ve been putting up with soggy sodden raised beds that weren’t raised enough for quite a while but I’d run out of wood to sort it out as we had already pulled down all the fences that we could on the property. So I took the bull by the horns and ordered some new wood to lift the low beds enough to give them a much needed lift. Hubby the Un-Gardener doesn’t mind doing my digging – but he has been objecting bitterly to being forced to use a one handled wheelbarrow with a flat tire on ground so soft that the water is lying on the surface. Maybe I should get a new wheelbarrow so I don’t lose my star digger.
The other exciting news is some of the chillies have come up. While it is exciting it is rather problematic. I can’t leave the tray in the dark cosy spot in the hot water cupboard because the emerged seedlings need the light. So I rigged up a new home in the sun. For the all essential warmth I grabbed my wine making heat pad – but it’s a bit too warm so I lifted the seed tray up a bit, and positioned the tray in a window that gets the best north facing all day sun. To stop the seedlings bended towards the light I read something somewhere that suggests putting a mirror on the other side so it evens it the light out. I couldn’t find a mirror, so I put aluminium foil in an old picture frame and popped it at the back of the tray. Time will tell if my seedlings grow straight.
Come again soon – I have the cutest surprise – but for now the rain has come back…
Sarah the Gardener : o )