We have had storm after storm after storm. When it wasn’t raining, it was blowing a gale and either way gardening was impossible. Add that to being knocked out for a good three weeks to ill health and the garden is way behind schedule. The last frost day is in about ten days and I am not ready! Whose idea was it to have such a large garden? – Oh yeah… it was mine.
The sun has begun shining again and the wind has died down, but you really never know for how long so all you can do is get out there and work like a crazy person. I have been digging and weeding and making hay while the sun shines. Well technically not hay, but I have almost harvested all my wheat to dry and use as a straw mulch. The thing is, I have left it so long I actually have wheat. It is still green, and if I didn’t need the bed then I would leave it there and have wheat to … I dunno… make bread? I don’t think there is enough – maybe a very small flatbread?!
I planted out the new brassicas in the bed beside the old ones and then thought I’d better pull the old ones out as they were all beginning to flower. The goats loved the surprize treat. But I couldn’t linger long watching the goats munch down of flowery kale, there was still loads to do and the sun was still shining.
I dug over the salad garden and enriched the soil and popped the mixed lettuces in as they were getting too big for their pots and making me feel really guilty. But they weren’t the only plants growing too big and so I spent a lovely couple of hours in the greenhouse transplanting all my pumpkins, squash and cucumbers into larger pots and put them on the shelves. But then I realised I had a bit of a problem. The only reason there was room on the shelves was because most of the other plants were outside, sunning themselves while they harden up. So I had to do some complicated rearranging to make everything fit back in. But there are still more plants that need bigger pots. I need to find more shelving pretty soon or I shall be knee deep in plants across the floor of the greenhouse.
I have harvest loads today as well – although most of it was a bit of a necessity. I turned my back on the asparagus for a couple of days and ended up with a forest! The globe artichokes were all just getting fatter and fatter and if I didn’t do something then they would have gone past their best so I chopped all their heads off. Now I have to do something with them!
The beetroot and parsnip had to come out as the salad needed to go in. Some of them were still too little to eat so I moved them over to the next bed where they may or may not grow, but if you don’t try then all you have is compost fodder.
The fennel needed to come out and we had it roasted for dinner tonight and it was yummy. But I didn’t know fennel was perennial. The plant was left in all winter as the insects seemed to like its flowery seed heads, and then all these new shoots had come up from the base and were bulbing up. It seemed a shame to rip it up, but I needed the space and boy did it put up a fight. It had a massive root structure.
I have decided basil is not a perennial as the thick sturdy plants that I trimmed back in the autumn to see if they would survive and come back in the spring, won’t be coming back. They are brown and crispy and by my definition that is dead. The winter was really mild too, so if they were to survive this would have been the winter for it.
Another cool thing I’m doing is comparing chilli plants with ones growing on the other side of the world. Elaine at Thelandroverownerswife has planted a chilli to overwinter in England and it would seem that she planted them at about the same time as I planted mine as it looks to be the same size. So we are going to see how the similar plants fare as the season’s progress. It isn’t a proper experiment – more of an observation – as the seeds aren’t the same, and neither are the growing conditions, but I think it will be interesting and a bit of fun.
But for now I need to go and rest my weary bones as tomorrow is supposed to be another great day for gardening and I’m just the person to do it!
Come again soon – hopefully the manic spring will settle down soon.
Sarah the Gardener : o )