I am back in the garden again. It isn’t like I didn’t go anywhere, but over the Christmas and New Year break, I took a holiday of sorts. We have such a beautiful spot here by the ocean, so we decided to share it with our friends and for a week it became a summer campground, minus the expensive campsite fees. I enjoyed the company of others, just like I would have if I was one of the campers – although I did have the luxury of my own bed! No tenting for me. I think I’m getting to old for that palaver. We swam, went for long walks on the beach and wandered up and down the giant hills we have. We cooked on a BBQ and saw in the New Year with much celebrating. It was magnificent.
But the garden took a back seat. It wasn’t completely neglected as I kept up with the watering. I really must finish the irrigation system, so I can water six beds at a time. Currently I am a slave to a nine-minute alarm and if left a moment longer, I end up with a flood out the bottom of the beds. It would be nice to just set and forget. This task has been moved further up the priority list for the new year than it was before. The days are sunny, and the sand is hot, so things can get thirsty pretty quickly.
I also nipped into the garden to harvest things. To be honest there hasn’t been much, because everything went in so much later than I would have liked but considering there was no garden at all at the start of May last year I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The harvest will come.
In my almost absence things did take a bit of a hit. There was a lot of rain right before Christmas. There hadn’t been much of any significance since September and I know this well as this was when I put in a 30 thousand litre tank to service the garden and it wasn’t looking like it would be fill in time for the heat of summer. And then the heavens opened and the week before Christmas was cold, wet and miserable and not summery at all. The only blessing was it filled my tank to more than half. Unfortunately, my potatoes didn’t like the wet conditions and I am left with a bed of shrivelled stalks and leaves. I did dig one variety up and all is not lost. There was a harvest of sorts. I’ll have to dig up the rest and see what is there. I’m not holding my breath.
The late garlic also got hit with rust as a result of the wet conditions. Which seems to have delayed that last push for bulbing up. I’ve been pulling one out a week to see how they are doing, and it isn’t looking great. Especially when compared to my successful early crop. I have set a few of the best bulbs aside for next year, but in view of the quality of the late ones I may just put a few more aside.
These things were out of my control, but taking my eye off my tomatoes was a bad move… I have just spent a more than an hour dealing with an infestation of psyllid. Had I been more in tune with my garden I would have spotted the tell-tale sugar-esk poop a lot sooner and it wouldn’t have spread as far. I have removed a lot of affected leaves – which I intend to burn and sprayed to save my crop. I don’t spray often, but when I do it is with determined intention and a touch of anger. How dare they invade my garden!
On the up side, the peas are nearly finished, and I’ll have enough to store in the freezer for winter meals. I hope to pop some more in, in the autumn. The onions have been fabulous, most of them are huge! I just need somewhere to store them, but we don’t have a shed just yet. Hubby the Un-Gardener isn’t keen for a years’ worth of onions to be hanging around the house. The kohlrabi has been a hit, especially when we ran out of crackers for the dips and cheeses, so I raced to the garden and sliced one up. Everyone loved it.
But now I am back in my routine. Monday is the first row and it has been weeded, watered, fed and cared for. All its needs are met. Tomorrow I’ll tackle the second row and restore holiday neglect into order and so on. It shouldn’t take long.
Come again soon – the summer has finally arrived, and the plants are loving it.
Sarah the Gardener : o)