While summer is still many moons away, I have taken a few steps that create a tenuous thread that links the cold wet miserableness of today with the hot, heady endless days of late summer. I sowed my pepper seeds. I normally do this with great fanfare on the 1st of August, however this year I was somewhat detained by the warm sea and sun of the South Pacific. If I was to be late with this task that holds so much anticipation then I suppose this excuse is good enough.
Only once the backlog of travel stained clothes were taken care of and the mountain of tasks and commitments that materialised in my absence and demanded my immediate attention were dealt with, was I able to think about the garden. I spent the first two days back toiling away indoors and the garden didn’t even get so much as a backward glance.
But that couldn’t go on, spring is imminent and my poor garden needs my immediate attention too. To add insult to injury it rained yesterday. A lot. All day and all night. This is not good news for an overgrown garden. The land needs to settle and the sucking noise needs to do its job of reducing the water table to somewhere below the surface instead of floating above it. It will take days, provided it doesn’t rain again. Mowing and weeding are out of the question for now and the garden continues to wear its unloved persona, despite this being furthest from the truth. Judging by the state of my soft clean hands, my persona doesn’t scream out gardener, which is trapped within, dying to get out. This situation couldn’t go on.
So I did what I could do – I got out the seed raising mix and sowed some seeds. Experience has taught me great restraint. Most summer crops do not gain great benefit from being sown so early and if anything I’d be making a rod for my own back tending to poor performing plants and trying to get the best out of them. So I hold back. Just the chillies and the peppers. And maybe a few brassicas – they don’t mind it cold, and some of the leafy greens and maybe some salad. By the time they are big enough I may want to relinquish my desire for comfort food and eat salad alfresco in the thin weak light of the extended spring evenings.
My hand hovered momentarily above my seed box, until I came to my senses. Anything more than this is too risky. This would be enough for today. And with this token effort towards feeling like a gardener again, the summer season has begun. Hooray.
Come again soon – the garden is in desperate need of whipping into shape.
Sarah the Gardener : o )