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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)