This takes us to the final phase of what I got up to this week. It got a little muddily towards the end of the week. The wind died down to just a gentle puff which was lovely. The first time it happened I remember this weird feeling of something being missing, as the sound of the wind whistling through the cracks and crannies in the house had ceased. It can almost become like white noise if it goes on long enough. Aside from the damage it does to the garden, I don’t mind it that much. When you stand in the face of a bracing wind you know you are alive. But it is the noise I hate. It makes it feel so much worse than it is.
It has been sunny and hot ever since, with just a slight sea breeze. Gardening in the middle of the day has become a little foolhardy as the sand is so hot on the paths between the beds that shoes are a must, lest you burn the soles of your feet. It is just too hot and like gardening in weather that is too wet or too cold, more harm can be done than good.
However, on Thursday I carried on with a sense of determination. If I can get everything back into shape, then it frees me up to throw myself into all the exciting projects I that may come my way this year, without the burden of lurching from weedy bed to weedy bed. And in control garden just needs a light tickle from time to time with a few bursts of effort when needed. Gardening needn’t be a chore. Although I’m not sure I’ve made it entirely clear, but I didn’t actually do the sectors in order – I picked the easiest one first so on Monday I did sector three, then sector two the next day then sector one, followed by sector five. I feel like a bit of a rebel to do it out of order!
Asparagus: This is doing far better than my expectations, but it has coastal origins and so it is like it has come home. At this time of year, it just needs to be kept moist and weeded while the fronds create energy to take down into the crown and provide shade for Fennel the Cat to loll about in.
Leafy Greens: It is all a bit of a disaster in here. I got confused with my rainbow beet and my rainbow beetroot. I normally sow the whole packet of rainbow beet so I can have all the delightful colours brightening up my winter garden with their exuberant leaves. But unfortunately, I ended up with a pink one and a red one and the yellow, white and orange turned out to be beetroot that need to be eaten and gone and won’t be brightening up anything but my plate. The Asian greens and the spinach bolted in the erratic weather conditions and celery and celeriac are crying out for more water than I have to give them. But as thirsty crops I did turn the irrigation on for just a moment.
Garlic: The only reason this is the garlic bed is because it is what was there. It has long since been pulled up, dried in the shade – because full sun can spoil the flavour and keeping qualities, and separated into 3 groups: eat now, save for seed and long term storage. I’m toying with the idea of pickling some of the eat now ones but peeling enough to make it worth it is such a phaff. The bed isn’t empty though. It has overflow corn from the first batch that got wind bashed and the rest is destined for some popcorn that has been germinating in the dome. It is late in the season to be starting corn, but we don’t get a frost here so it’s worth a shot.
Beans: The kidney beans are great. I love their set and forget until they are dry on the plant nature. One less thing to worry about. The green beans (and purple and yellow) are slow to get going but we may have enough for a meal next week and then they’ll be away, and we’ll have too many. I don’t hold out much hope for the tall snake and ‘Humongous MegaPod’ beans. They were looking great before the last wind. But now… well it’s a bit of a sorry sight.
Potatoes: The wind hit the tops of these too, but they were almost done anyway, so all I have to do is dig them up. I have been rummaging around in the soil for meal sized harvests, but I think I need to just get in there and clear them out. In our frostless conditions I may even get another full crop out of the bed before it gets too cold. That should be incentive enough to do a bit of digging. Fresh potatoes taste so good.
Carrots and friends: The erratic weather caused problem here and I have pulled out more than my fair share of bolted carrots and beetroot. The beetroot here is not doing well at all. I should be harvesting by now, but they are still too tiny, unlike the confused ones in the leafy green bed. I have planted more seedlings and sown more seed in desperate hope of some kind of harvest that I can drop down my front and stain my white shirt while trying to eat it. At this point my white shirts are looking pretty safe. I have managed to keep up with succession sowing my carrots, but the fennel is acting more like a windbreak than a potential crop, but I guess that is no bad thing.
Cucumbers: These were really slow to get going. I think I had to replant several times. But there is a plant in every space that corresponds to my plan, they just aren’t very big. I am getting a harvest, but they aren’t exactly large enough to be proud of, but they have that cucumber taste and crunch so that makes it ok.
On Friday I was supposed to do sector 4 – the middle little beds, which was a daunting mess, however I gave in to the cold that has be hounding me all year and took a sick day. By Saturday was convinced I was cured and threw myself into the mess and made quite the dent in it. The chicken is still in residence in the worst bed and so it remains a weedy mess. I only made it halfway across the sector before the heat drove me indoors. I had hoped to knock it all off today, Sunday, but alas the cold symptoms returned, and I just don’t have enough get up and go to carry on. Maybe tomorrow.
Come again soon – The garden is so close to being in full control… so very close.
Sarah the Gardener : o)