This weekend is a weekend like no other – it is the weekend deemed safe for plants to be planted out without fear of frost. Having said that, it is date based on averages and so there have still been killing frosts recorded beyond that, well into November. Having said that I didn’t get a single frost in my new environment all winter, so I’m beginning to wonder if this whole Labour Day Weekend planting rule applies to me at all. But I do like a good tradition and going forward I may still use this as the date that is intrinsically linked to the excitement and potential of the coming season.
However, this weekend I won’t be planting my tomatoes with great fanfare as per usual… they just aren’t big enough. I have no idea why – I started them off at the same time I always did. But is has been a funny spring with more cold snaps than you can shake a stick at! My entire collect of plants are sitting tight, growing with all their might, anticipating the day they can go out into the big wide world. My entire future harvest is hidden within these small green creatures.
Having said that, it isn’t like my weekend is devoid of gardening action. While all the beds are now filled with soil, thanks to our handy builder and his mini digger. They still need levelling and enriching. The narrow 1 metre beds make the digging seem easier than working beds that seem expansive. From the ones I have done already it looks like I am on the right track. My spuds are positively flourishing.
So, there is a mountain of digging ahead of me, or someone… Hubby the Un-Gardener did say he would help me out this weekend. It is great to have someone who digs on demand. He just doesn’t quite grasp the enormity of what I have in store for him. I’ll break it to him gently – just point out one bed at a time… in order of priority, until it is all done.
In the meantime, I will be giving my onions and garlic and the more mature plants waiting in pots to be planted, a liquid feed. This can take some time – especially as I appear to be watering can-less. I can’t seem to find my small one and my big one has a crack. I may need to swing by the garden centre and try with all my might to avoid the temptation lurking there.
Then as Hubby the Un-Gardener finishes beds, I’ll set up my structures. Trellises for peas and cucumbers to scramble up, support wires for the tomatoes and support for anything else that remotely needs it. It is always better to do this before the plant goes in, so you don’t accidentally trample the plant while trying to tie bamboo poles together above your head or ram a stake through the roots of your tender young seedling.
Then there is irrigation to install and mulch to spread. The list of small chores is as long as my arm and each of them are simple, but I just don’t know where to start with them all. I think I will just start with the first one I come across and work my way towards the back of the garden, striking chores off the list as I go.
So even without the traditional pleasure of planting tomatoes – which is not my fault. I have held them as my goal since I started working on the new garden – “there will be tomatoes in the garden come October”, but who would have thought it would be the plants themselves that let the show down, not me and my efforts. So even without them, there will be plenty of garden fun to be done this long weekend.
Come again soon – this is the best weekend on the gardening calendar and it won’t go to waste!
Sarah the Gardener : o)