I wake up at night in a sweat. My pumpkins. My poor pumpkins. They are bound and constrained in their pots. They should be free. I lie there and worry about finding time to give them their freedom before it is too late. Sometimes I wake up at night in a sweat because it is hot and muggy.
Slowly over the spring the burgeoning table of hardening off seedlings reduced in numbers as each batch took their turn to be relocated in their new homes in specially prepared beds that suit their requirements. First it was the tomatoes and then others followed and even just recently the almost dead left over flowers were perked up and planted in a bed that had no other immediate plans. I won’t show you because it is really a sorry sight.
But left on the shelf waiting and hoping for their turn were the pumpkins. To be fair I had repotted them twice. But their bed wasn’t ready. To be honest, to start off there wasn’t one and I grew them in faith that there would be something available by the time they were ready. Eventually I started to dig a strip of ground for them, but the soil was heavy and it was hard going. So I called in Hubby the Un-Gardener to help and he dug it with great speed.
But it needed digging over once more to remove roots and weeds, and I tried but the soil was still clinging too tightly. I asked Hubby the Un-Gardener to dig it over again, but not being a passionate gardener sensing the urgency of the situation, with incarcerated cucurbits in desperate need of release, he dillied and he dallied and didn’t do any digging. So I decided to persevere by myself, no matter how long it took. However I was pleasantly surprized as the soil was at that perfect texture where it wasn’t too damp, but wasn’t too dry and released the weed roots with ease. The soil itself was soft and crumbly and a real pleasure to work. I worked up a bit of a sweat, but only because it was hot, and had the new bed clear and ready to go in no time.
Then I knew I was taking a bit of a risk because I was going to plant them closer together than is ideal so I super enriched the soil. Deep beneath the surface I buried a considerable quantity of well-rotted chicken poop, then covered it over. The top level was then bolstered with loads of compost, fertiliser, sheep pellets and blood and bone. Once I planted them all in there in a row, I gave them a liquid feed as a kind of ‘welcome home’ / ‘sorry it took so long’ gift. Then to ensure they stay healthy I ran a length of soaker hose across their bases.
So now they are all there in a row and will hopefully grow out towards the field. To keep the weeds down I plan to sheet mulch as they go with cardboard. I’m hoping this works because last time it was a terrible job trying to keep them from being lost in the wilderness.
And with that I can sleep easy, all my seedlings are in. Phew.
Come again soon – the irrigation system is coming along nicely,
Sarah the Gardener : o )