Well ain’t it just lovely weather….. yeah yeah, but I want rain.
To avoid social ostracisation, as people look at me worried as though the power of my thoughts may induce a shower – I quickly qualify that I only want it at night. I agreed with Beener’s mum (who is an amazing gardener) that we would like to order a medium shower between let’s say 1am-4am…
I can’t believe it- I am moaning about the weather … I spent all winter dreaming of sunny days up the allotment and then when it happens -I whinge!!!
Sunny days have arrived too early – I am usually cold-ish and wet and moaning at this time of year … It is most confusing for me!! But its not me I fear for – I will adapt, its the plants I worry about…
As you can see I am a true Brit – I can hold my own in any conversation about the ‘state of the weather’!
So the water butt is looking very thirsty, – its only purpose since we proudly positioned it, is to taunt me as I trudge up to the water tap to fill my watering can for the umpteenth time….
I have stopped surfing weather websites and watching the tv forecast because despite numerous reassurances from them that we will have showers – nothing.
So as you can imagine much of our visits to the plot involve mass watering sessions. I quite like watering plants but its all a bit frenzied at the moment as newly planted things and seedlings in the greenhouse look at me and gasp ‘I’m shrivelling, help me’.
The top few inches of our clay soil is ridiculously parched and baked. However as we have clay soil, which is great for water retention, the ‘soil’ below that is nice and wet still. So could be worse and the moisture down below will encourage the roots to grow – making for sturdier and stronger plants.
So the seedlings of broccoli, sprouts, strawberries, poached egg plants and corn flower that we have planted out in the last couple of weeks are on emergency watch. We are watering them copiously every few days. This is alongside the fruit bushes and the potatoes and the onions and the greenhouse seedlings. This takes a fair bit of the allotted allotment time. They need to be thoroughly soaked and flooded (a proper scientific technical term there..), rather than little and often, or else we risk the plant roots staying in the upper layer of the soil.
We have further developed the fruit cage – we got our mitts on some scaffolding netting and have sides all around our fruit cage.
We will definitely definitely put the roof on very very soon its just we’ve been a little bit busy watering and weeding and its ever so hot…. In the mean time the fruit cage looks very professional and it is a very nice blue colour. But like our so far redundant water butt it doesn’t fit its purpose – ie keeping the birds out, what with them being able to fly. So far we have been lucky – no damage. My working theory is that the dense blue colour is not attractive to the birds so they are not interested to investigate further. There aren’t really any blue natural buds/fruits for birds to munch on. Although I’m sure once one bird spies the feast, we could be in trouble…
Anyways perhaps I should spend less time discussing the merits of my ‘scientific’ theory and more time constructing the roof.
Another big taker uper of our time is weeds – couch bloody grass, flippin brambles and our newly emerged resident – blinkin bind weed. Although I am a chaotic gardener in oh so many ways, I have the kind of anxious (some might say anal retentive) mind that will scour the land honing in on the smallest transgressor and eradicating quickly and with no mercy.
We have planted numerous herbs in our aptly titled herb garden – including lavender, sage, marjoram, lawn chamomile and mint. We have thyme and dill coming on in the greenhouse and will continue to keep our eye out for herb opportunities. Beener recently attended a church coffee morning much to my amazement – but then she explained why – they are excellent source of cheap/reasonably priced plants. Car boot sales, jumble sales, keep your eyes open… And of course many herbs can be propagated from cuttings and lifted and divided from various other sources…
All in all – we are very pleased with how things are progressing and we can only report two casualties – some rosemary and a bamboo – which I regret to inform were due to watering negligence. It took me a fortnight to accept that yes I really do need to be watering shed loads even though it is April. A reminder to ‘garden by the weather and not by the calendar’….