SARAH THE GARDENER

Fruits of my Labour!

I haven’t been busy in the garden – in fact I have done nothing at all.  It is winter after all so I guess I’m allowed a few days off.  Although I have ordered my seeds for spring so they should arrive soon.

I just wanted to quickly share the good news.  I won the Blogging / Gardening challenge I had entered!  Yay.  I worked really hard for it – in the garden and at the keyboard, and drove my friends and family crazy chasing down their votes!

It is so refreshing to blog without the pressure.  If no one read this then, honestly it doesn’t matter at all.  And I don’t need to do it every day (unless I want to).  My friends can also breathe a sigh of relief.

I have added links on the side of the page to take you to the competition blogs if you are interested to see where I have come from.

But for now I shall wrap up warm and sit by the roaring fire and plan and dream up winter projects.

I just realised there is one month before I plant the tomato and pepper seeds in the greenhouse and there is so much I want and need to do before then!  Whoever said winter was a time to sit back and reflect didn’t live around here….  Here there is heaps that can be done.

Come again soon – I need to find my gloves, beanie, scarf and gumboots, I haven’t used them for a wee while.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

Winter Spuds

It’s been three days since I last put my fingers to my keyboard and came up with a tale about my garden.  The gardening competition finished on Sunday and my last blog (number 112) was posted on their site.   The winners will be announced on the 4th July – wish me luck!

I must say it has been nice not to have to blog every day and I relaxed properly on Monday without thinking about the garden.  I don’t think I even went out there.  On Tuesday – thoughts entered my head.  Not just any thoughts – Gardening thoughts!  I tried to brush them away – I don’t need to do this anymore, but they kept coming back.  It was an awful day to garden – it was raining heavily and was freezing – doing anything garden related would be madness.

Then last night I had a dream that not only formulated a project (where I could stay dry) it also included most of the words and photos to write about it.  I guess now the only way to get it out of my head is to do it!  So what did I dream?

Potatoes!

The other day we got to the bottom of the bag of potatoes we harvested in the summer.  All that is left is a bowl of tiny little tiddlers – that I guess we could roast and eat like popcorn next time we watch a movie!

Tiddler Spuds - All that's left from Summer

Before we got completely to the dust and dirt at the bottom of the bag I grabbed 3 spuds that had started to sprout – I don’t know why – force of habit really… they might get used at some point?  Now this is where my dream comes in, I must plant those three spuds.

Sprouting Desiree maincrop spuds

The problem is doing it in the ground is out of the question.  The last lot was supposed to be harvested on the 18th July.  I know you’re not supposed to grow them in the winter – but the seed potatoes were cheap in an end of season “reduced to clear bin” – I had to buy them.    They started off well as the summer didn’t seem to want to end, but then the rains came – and haven’t stopped and my spuds rotted away.

Where the last spuds were - now a soggy boggy mess!

So in my dream I put them in rolled down black sacks with holes poked in the bottom for drainage.  We should have a few hanging about because the council changed our rubbish collection from pre-paid stickers with black sacks to these pre-paid yellow bags that are a third the size – Grr.  But Hubby the Un-Gardener informs me we have no black sacks left.  I need to improvise.  What about the feed bags the firewood came in – that’ll do!  (Mental note to self:  order another load of firewood)

Empty feed back - rolled down

So all I have to do is assemble the lot and keep them in the greenhouse for 140 days (until November 14) – topping up as they grow. Simple!

Planting the spuds

And now I wait

So now I have pink Desiree maincrop potatoes to add to my Winter Indoor Summer Garden Experiment – alongside the tomatoes, pepper, chilli and eggplant.

Tomato plants in winter - with Tomatoes on it!

Come again soon – winter is just getting started – I wonder what other crazy projects I can do.

Sunflower in winter - in the greenhouse

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

I am a victim of the blogging bug.

It all stems from an email that crossed my path in late September 2010.  A local seed company offered the opportunity to compete in a Spring Veggie Growing challenge requiring blogs posted over the course of 3 months.  With the $1000 prize easily persuading me to enter, it wasn’t long before the prize became secondary – I got hooked on the writing, which is just as well because I didn’t win.  But over the course of the competition I made 84 posts about the ups and downs of life in my garden, which can be best described as a work in progress.

Once the competition ended I felt lost.  I didn’t have a forum to share the crazy thoughts and observations that routinely enter my head.  So when they re-launched a new version of the competition:  The Autumn Veggie Growing Challenge.  Not only did I get to grow the much maligned turnip and Brussels sprouts, I had the opportunity to write again.  (For the record – my family actually enjoyed the turnips – who’d have thought it?)  So 101 entries later and a growing following of loyal voters …..   Two of my favourite things were satisfied:  gardening and writing.  Life is good.

An unexpected side effect of the blogging is my garden is looking the best it has ever been.  Never before has my garden been “spring ready” in the middle of winter.  Normally it is languishing in a state of disarray with the decaying remains of summer crops past still there entangled with weeds, which require a mammoth effort to sort out in the spring – inevitably delaying the planting of summer crops.  The need to blog generates a need to “do something – anything” in the garden in order to have something to talk about.  Without blogging my garden will suffer – I must go on.  I must blog.  I need to for the sake of the garden.

Come again soon – I’m just getting started.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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