Oh I was in my element today. I got to spend the day in the garden, completely uninterrupted and without the need to rush. I just pottered about the place at an unhurried pace and enjoyed every single moment.
While it looks like there is a lot to be done in the garden, all of the work I put in before I had my wee fall is masked by grass grazing my shins calling to me “mow me, mow me.” Or at least that is what I hope the grass is saying as it swishes in the light breeze.
Ordinarily I take notes on my google calendar at the end of the day so if I want to look for something I’ve done in the past I can search for it easily. It seems simple enough, but I get a bit knackered at the end of the day and so sometimes (often) I don’t get round to doing it. Now I know documenting the garden is important and it is always my intention to keep detailed records, but it is best to find a system that actually works for you, rather than ended up as a big basket of ‘should haves’ and ‘would haves.’ That would be no good to me if I wanted to know when I started off my seeds or harvested my peanuts.
This time I’ve decided to keep a notebook in the garden, in the greenhouse. Not a fancy one, because it will get covered in dirt and possibly even a little wet. The first entry in the book was a big list. I wandered past each bed with the notebook in hand and wrote down what it would take to get the bed to the place it should be for this time of year. Some beds required a gentle weed, others had cover crops in need of digging in. Shamefully some beds still require the remains of the previous season to be whisked away. As each task is completed I pop back into the greenhouse and write down what I’ve just done. So far so good. I have challenged myself to keep it up all season. Record keeping is as just as valuable as a task as keeping weeds at bay.
One of the tasks that found itself recorded on the page was most exciting. I have sown my onion seeds. The old wife’s tale suggests planting onion on the shortest day ready for harvest on the longest day in 6 months’ time. But it isn’t essential and anytime in winter is a good time.
Sowing these seeds signifies more than just getting my onions off to a good start. It means the 2016 – 2017 growing season is now officially underway! These tiny black seeds will grow to be the first major harvest of the new season. There will be other things, like the broad beans I’ve already started in the garden, but we don’t really like them all that much and so they don’t count. There will also be crops that come ready before the onions that will have been sown in the spring like spinach, radish and peas.
But sowing those seeds creates a continuous link through the worst of the cold weather to come and when we emerge into warmer weather the onions will be there ready and waiting to be harvested and surrounding them will be fledgling tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and sweetcorn. The growing season will be in full swing.
With the shortest day less than a week away, the evenings are about as dark as they’ll get and then each day will offer a moment or two of more light to ease the gloom of winter. There are so many things to look forward to right now.
Come again soon – the garden is loving the attention.
Sarah the Gardener : o)