Each year I tell myself that I will do better next year. I will be more organised and on top of my game. Each year I set out to fool myself. And each year I let myself believe it.
This year, however, I am trying a new approach. Well… a “new to me” approach. It’s called “following the instructions“. You may have heard of it. Or even subscribe to it yourself. It doesn’t come easy to me as a gardener. I am reading the books and the sowing instructions for individual plants. I am even following (roughly) the calendar times for sowing. Those bits aren’t too hard. Really it involves a bit of spare time and enough potting compost. (Note to self – must buy more.) Although seeing the plants looking so much more advanced in the garden centres does make me wonder.
The hard bit though is the “planting everything out” part. I have got itchy fingers. I think the plants are looking great. The aubergines and first sowings of tomatoes are looking fantastic. The raised beds in the polytunnel are looking well-fed and ready to receive their new residents. The problem is, the experts tell me I should wait eight weeks approximately from sowing to planting out aubergines and tomatoes. EIGHT WEEKS!!! Who can wait that long???
My potting bench and window sills are full while the beds are looking fairly empty. More seeds beckon and whisper my name – come sow us….you know you want to…. It’s killing me. Slowly.
Mr. Fairweather has finished all his college assignments and as a week or two until his exams kick in. I am hoping he can finish the outdoor beds for me. At least I can start doing my direct outdoor sowing then. I have got few carrots and beetroot and peas down outside in the first bed. Even the straw bale beds which are getting a second shot this year after a bit of a disaster are looking fairly forlorn. I am sorely tempted to buy a few plugs in the garden centre just so the place looks like its working but its not in the budget.
Instead, I am choosing to remind myself that this is all a lesson in patience. Last year, everything came in at once. A lot didn’t get used and then there was nothing. For the first time in my life, I may actually be pacing myself as a gardener. I am even tackling repeat sowings of some things. A novel idea in my little corner of the world where I dump all the seeds in at once and then it’s a case of survival of the fittest.
Bear with me though as I wrestle with these new fangled ideas. I have got a feeling, (once I sit on my itchy fingers), that this could be a good year in the garden.