A Notable Situation

You only really get one chance at a new start.  And while we have been here since January and work started on the garden in May when the container that held our worldly possessions was emptied into the house and removed, today is a new start.  Probably the last opportunity to call something a new start in my new garden.

New note book

I’m starting off with good intentions.

For me it is the official start of the 2018 growing season and seeds will be sown.  Not many, but enough that will become part of this year’s harvest and therefore it counts.   There are onions, shallots, garlic and asparagus already in the garden, however, their start is so early in the season that it is hard to tell if they are at the end of last season or at the beginning of this season, so they don’t count.  Not to me anyway.   The onion and garlic are harvested well before anything remotely considered a summer crop even begins to get going.

pepper seeds

The obligatory first handful of seeds of the season photo to mark the occasion. I’m not sure I have any like this for the poor pumpkins.

Besides I like auspicious beginnings and I have decided today is it!  Every year for the last few years on the first of August I start my peppers, chillies, capsicum and eggplant seeds.  I have also recently added celeriac and celery to the list because the seeds are so tiny and they take so long to get going, and I have found this head start really helps to get a harvest in good time.  But the peppers and eggplants are such a long season crop and in order to get the plants mature enough to produce enough of a harvest that can be stored as well as eaten and enjoyed fresh before the frost wipes them out, starting them now is a good idea that works well.

Clean seed trays

I always start my growing season off with clean seed trays, lovingly washed thoroughly. The peppers get the royal treatment. In 2 months time when I start the poor pumpkins they will be lucky if their trays get a bit of a shake to dislodge any dirt.

All the other fun things like tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, beans and other wonderful crops have to wait.  There is no benefit in starting these ones early.  All that does is create extra effort managing plants that get too big too soon when it is still too cold to put them outside.   Every plant has its own sense of timing that is not just dependant on the possibility of frost.  They also work with soil temperature and day length among other things.  Nature has thought of everything, so the plants succeed. We just need to do our bit to help and not hinder the process.

space seeds well

Space seeds well for good airflow and to reduce the risk of damping off

Today marks the start to an extremely busy season for me – half the beds aren’t even built yet!  With finishing the garden and the usual seed sowing and seedling care, things are about to get hectic.  So, I started a note book.  Not a fancy one, just one of the kid’s school books that didn’t get used.  It has 188 pages and a hard back.  I have every intention of using each page and it will need its firm covers as it will be given a bit of a hard life.

Seed labels

To remember what I’m growing it is always helpful to sow in alphabetical order and take a photo lest something untoward happens to my up-cycled milk bottle labels.

I will sit down and the beginning of the day and make note of the weather.  Once the garden is up and running I want a cool weather station.  But that is on the wish list not the need list.  Then I’ll list what I want to do.  Then at the end of the day I’ll come back and write down what I actually did and if I planted seeds then I’ll make a note of how many etc.

google calendar for garden notes

Google calendar is a great way to remember what you have done before, if you remember to do it in the first place.

I may also jot down in my google calendar the days I planted seeds and then schedule the expected harvest date.  This is great from year to year as it is immediately searchable.  I’ve done this in the past but somehow life got in the way and I stopped.

Baby chicken

It isn’t advisable to let baby chickens help. Turducken is growing up fast and really wants to be where all the action is.

While on holiday I read a book, not a gardening book as such but a story with a garden angle and in it one of the characters had all these journals about the garden going back years to when the show garden was first created.  They became more of a story themselves than just lists of to dos and what’s been done.  I think it would be nice to document this garden in that way.  So today as the first day of seed sowing for the new season is a good place to start.

I hope I can manage to stick with it.  I’ve started notebooks before and lasted about 3 and a half weeks!

Come again soon – I officially declare this season open!

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

12 Comments on “A Notable Situation

  1. Oooh that’s lovely, I’m itching to start sowing! Would you please share the name of the book you read, I love books with themes I’m interested in, eg gardening! 😀

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    • It is a murder mystery series of books called the Potting Shed Mystery Series by Marty Wingate, but aside from the mystery side of things (which isn’t too cheesy) the gardening is fabulous and I have found it motivating and inspiring. : o)

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  2. When I started my new potager (not nearly as large as yours!) after I retired, I started keeping better journals, data, and a blog to record all that happens. It’s surprising how often I return to those early pages and posts. I hope you find time to keep records, for your own satisfaction, but also as remembrance for this new beginning. Best of luck as your season begins….sadly, ours is winding down.

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    • I am determined to keep anecdotal notes this time. I think I will treasure it in the long term like you do with yours. It is always a bitter sweet time of year – Yay for me, but sad for you. I have really enjoyed stealing sunshine from northern gardens this year. : o)

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  3. You have inspired me! I have been procrastinating about sowing seed, and like you I would start the chillies and peppers now, and possibly some flowers .. I laughed when I read about not washing trays for the pumpkin, know that one well! 🙂👏

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