It has been a massive weekend. The long Labour Weekend did not disappoint. The weather was fabulous, and the family were well aware that this weekend is the pinnacle of the gardening calendar and gardening is what is done, for the entire weekend. And they daren’t argue with me because they know well enough I’ll pull the “It’s my birthday” card and they have to bend to my will. Ok my birthday was Tuesday, and everyone was back at work and school by then, but I just added the day to make the weekend 4 days. Four glorious days of good, honest toil in the garden.
Having said that, while I was busy pretty much the entire time, there isn’t much to show for it. I did get the poor strawberries in. But before that happened they had to suffer the further indignity of a brief savaging by Snowy the Goat. Fortunately, she didn’t do too much harm and the strawberries will bounce back. I’m not so sure about the blueberries so acquired a couple more to replace them.
Once they were planted out I found I was a dozen short to make up a full bed. I do like a bit of order in my garden and this empty space where strawberries should be would have bothered me no end, so I took myself off to the garden centre. It was a brave move during this weekend as not only is every man and his dog thinking about getting out in the garden – via the garden centre, but every manner of temptation is on display to lure us all into making impulse purchases.
I think I was quite good. I did pick up more than just the strawberries, and everything was kind of on the list, so I came out feeling quite smug with myself and my self-control. Unfortunately, my wallet wasn’t so pleased!
The good thing was they still had strawberry seedlings – they should have been planted in the winter with August being the ideal time. My collection of strawberries came from a 6-pack purchased about 15 years ago as effort to get domestic for our first home. I have been taking runners and replacing a third of them ever since so they all remain within the 3-year best productivity zone. The most I had was probably about 100 plants, but in the new garden there are 84, 72 brought from the old place and I managed to keep them alive and well in pots for about 16 months… bless them.
But back in the day I don’t remember there being much choice in the kind of strawberry available – it was strawberry or strawberry, take your pick. These days we have choice. There were four different varieties available – Camarosa, Pajaro, Aroma and Chandler, so I bought 3 of each to see which I like the best. I’ll let you know what I think when the harvest comes in.
While I was at it planting the strawberries, I realised the space for the red and black currents was also free at the back of their bed, so they went in too. Only one had had a goat prune but I’m sure it will be fine. It does feel good to know a couple of beds have been planted out.
Then I spent the rest of the time sorting out the irrigation – it is a quick and easy task, except when you have to extrapolate it out over many beds. I have barely recovered, but I’ll tell you how I did it soon. There is still more to do, so I’d prefer to give you the full picture so look out for that post.
Meanwhile, while I was wrangling hose pipes and sprinklers, our awesome builder built me a fence across the front of the garden. It is made to be rabbit and deer proof. I hope it is – the design was my idea and could possibly be flawed. I still need to string up some wires to cover the deer angle, and the sides of the garden still need to be done. The back wall is the chicken coop so no worries there. I do love my front fence. I’ve added it to the list of gifts I received for my birthday.
And in the spirit of labour weekend, with it being the safe from frost average date, Hubby the Un-Gardener dug over a couple of beds for me and I planted some popcorn, okra, peanuts and eggplants into my odds and sodds bed.
And now I am completely exhausted, but the end is in sight.
Come again soon – there will be tomatoes before the end of October – or possibly a little bit into November.
Sarah the Gardener : o)