Most of us are now (or will be soon) at that stage of the garden when everything is finally planted out, and seems – so far, to be doing ok. The garden still looks a little sparse as the seedlings are still quite small, although in their pots they looked enormous. But if you stuck to the plan, all that bare earth won’t be there for long as in these next few weeks as the weather warms up and the plants find their feet in the soil, they will take off. Take loads of photos so you can fully appreciate just how dramatic the change will be. When you are in the garden all the time you don’t really notice it. Like a watched pot…
But now that you have finished the micro-managing of plants in pots, and the hard work of toiling in the soil is done, you can stand back and look around, reintroduce yourself to your long-lost family and catch your breath. The garden doesn’t need you as much anymore, so long as the sky is doing the watering. Although it isn’t completely hands off – tackle weeds as soon as they appear so they don’t have a chance to get big, watch the weather for another week or so as there is still a slight chance of frost and aphids can easily sneak in unnoticed without regular vigilance. Most of this can be done as a ‘wine wander’ as an evening tour with a glass of your favourite tipple in one hand and your favourite weed removing tool in the other.
This stage also offers you the chance to look around at what others are doing, and some of you have mentioned it in your posts already. But comparison is the thief of joy, and we shouldn’t allow it to cloud our view of our gardens. Gardening isn’t a competitive game. The starting point is not only different for everyone, but also a long starting point and the climate and conditions can vary from one end of the country to the other or even between neighbours, so there will be differences in the maturity of plants in different gardens. It is also good to remember that very few people will put up a photo of a messy, chaotic garden. You won’t be the only one with something less than perfect going one – some people are just good at taking photos from the right angle!
It is also hard not to get caught up with the latest trends and tie yourself in knots trying to follow what everyone else is doing. In gardening there are no hard and fast rules and if you want to dig or not, or plant by the moon or just plant when you have the time, it’s ok - plants will still grow and give you a harvest. Just so long as you are enjoying your garden and your plants are happy then you are doing the right thing.
In my garden, I have one last ‘big task’ to do before I can lose myself in the ebb and flow of this lull in the season. Today I will be netting my strawberries. I spent too long over thinking it as I wanted something aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. But with the number of berries we have probably lost so far, I have decided to go with rebar poles with irrigation hose hooped over them and bird netting stretched over the top. And did the click and collect thing over the weekend. I’ll think of something fancy for next year.
Happy gardening and as always – if you want to get in touch leave a comment below.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
Photo: Yay, my beans are up!