I don’t know about you but when school holidays are over, and the kids go back to school I breathe a bit of a sigh of relief. Now I can get on with the things that need to be done without being interrupted all the time with requests for food, arbitrating disputes and making sure study is being done. I have good kids and I love them dearly, but when I get a straight 8 hours without interruption I seem to be more productive with my computer gardening, kitchen gardening and garden gardening.
At this stage in the garden I’m still preparing the last few beds and I’m not too worried about it… yet as they won’t be needed until Labour Weekend so there is still plenty of time for gardens to be dug over, restored from a weedy state, enriched with compost, or even started from scratch. It is better to do it well in advance as this allows time for the compost and other goodies to be fully incorporated into the soil by the micro organisms and then allow any disturbed weed seeds to pop up and be removed before planting. It is easier to quickly run a hoe across an empty bed than it is to try and weed around plants. But at the same time, if you prepare the bed in the morning and plant in the afternoon, you will still be ok, although watch those weeds.
In the greenhouse, the transplanting seems to be never ending and the plants that were tiny in their new bigger pots a couple of weeks ago are now waving their roots at me begging for another transition into something bigger. I knew most would need this second reshuffle so they can continue to grow big and knowing they will slow down and sulk if I leave them, makes me push their demands further up the list.
If plants are left in pots too small for too long they will run out of nutrients and become pot bound and can even stop growing. So as much as it feels like just too much hard work when they will be planted out in a couple of weeks – it is worth the effort as they can almost double in size in the next few weeks in the right conditions.
The next stage will be getting the seedlings hardened off – ready for life on the outside. Start with an afternoon in a protected spot outside and then over the next week or two gradually increase their time outside in spots that are eventually more like what it will be in the garden, to the point where you can leave them out overnight. Watch out for slugs and snails and if the weather is horrible then leave them inside. This way they will transition well into the garden without going into shock and may not even realise they’ve been moved.
And I am still juggling with getting the last few seeds to germinate. I have sown several a number of times and I’m not ready to give up just yet, but there is no shame in a trip to the garden centre for seedlings if necessary! Oh, but I still haven’t sown my flower seeds. I am holding myself accountable to everyone here – I will sow them this week!
Oh, and if you haven’t already – check out the latest Yates spring E-magazine. There is loads of great information in there about all aspects of gardening and we even get a mention. You can check it out here: > Yates Spring Gardening Magazine <
And... don't forget to register for National Gardening week to claim some free seeds. > National Gardening Week <
I hope you all have a fabulous week and that the weather is kind and if it rains that it only rains at night!
Sarah the Gardener : o)