The last frost free day is generally regarded as this weekend, which coincidentally has a public holiday tacked onto the end. So the weather is coming around to a warmer way of thinking and it was a mild 15°C (59F) overnight and so I felt confident enough to leave my tomatoes outside all night in a sheltered place for the final stage of their hardening off experience. But the question I have to ask myself is will I be ready?
The answer in a nutshell would be – no! In this erratic spring weather, after days of sunshine that were admittedly a little breezy, today has rain. But not the ordinary “this is clearly a bunch of raindrops” rain, but that annoying misty rain that you can hardly see, but to go out in it will have you soaked through to the skin in no time. This is not gardening weather. It isn’t even nice weather! So I need to figure out what I can do that will keep me dry, but move me forward in preparation for the big day!
In reality I may need to turn it into a moveable celebration of the coming of summer and plant things out as best I can when the weather, the readiness of the garden and other events allow. It won’t kill the plants to stay in their pots a couple of days longer and in some instances it may even be beneficial – there have been rogue frosts past this magical safe date before. So I will work with the perception that I am being cautious and want to give my plants the best possible start. You know the saying “plant in haste – repeat at leisure” or words to that effect after I mangle it by putting a gardening spin on it.
However if this is the official line then you will need to disregard most of what I said previously as from now on it will be “I’m just going to take my time planting out my plants to make sure the risk of frost has truly gone.” I shall be like a duck swimming on a lake – above the water I shall be calm as I convince myself and everyone else it is ok to plant late. But underneath those little webby feet paddle fast and I shall be in my garden working so fast I shall have remind myself to stop for meals and look at investing in one of those head lamps so I can continue on after dark!
It hasn’t helped that time in the garden has been taken up by kids and lambs; with wonderful event that is calf club. The good news is the lambs fully recovered from their illness in time for calf club, but I was forced to perform an illegal task, as it is strictly against the rules to wash lambs. But I don’t imagine it would have gone down well to take along lambs with dirty bottoms. Oh my goodness if you had told my inner city me 10 years ago that I would willingly – albeit illicitly – be scrubbing poop off the back of lambs I would never have believed you and would actually have been a little mortified at the thought! But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. The day was fantastic, the sun came out and many ribbons were won. This came as a bit of surprise, as the lambs had been sick and so the boys couldn’t train them so they weren’t really up to it, however when the Joeyosaurus picked up a 4th place ribbon for leading when he in fact pushed Meep around the course, he was really surprised. It may have had a lot to do with the fact there were only four lambs in the junior category. You have to love the blessings that come with attending a very small school. It was a lovely relaxed day and everyone had a lot of fun.
Come again soon – I shall garden on, whatever the weather. Those plants won’t plant themselves!
Sarah the Gardener : o )