Saturday, 11 September 2021

A Spot Of Gardening

I hadn't done much in the garden recently, I must confess. The neighbours' incessant noisy dogs barking, angry shouting, loud radio and arguments have pretty much destroyed any enjoyment I'd hoped to get out of the garden. It's gotten to the stage we hardly use the back door any more in order to avoid the commotion. The back garden is in danger of falling into neglect. 

The avocado seems to be doing well
Nevertheless, my son and I stuck a bunch of potatoes in the new plot in the spring and since then I've been weeding a bit and watering over the dry months, but other than that it's just been a case of crossing my fingers and hoping for a big yield. Since this is the first weekend I've had off in what seems like forever, I thought I'd spend a bit of time going round the garden and seeing what's to be seen.

Space for Plot 3 on right before plum tree
When we moved in I instantly envisioned three strips of arable plots for crop rotation: brassicas, legumes and root vegetables. I dug up the second plot last summer (if I remember rightly. It's all been a bit of a blur since Covid reared its ugly head) and the plan should have been to dig up the third and final one this summer, but to be honest my spirit was not in it. Plus I was beginning to realise - more land needs more water. And more work. So I really need to get another water butt as well as get off my own.

Anyway, it's not too late. Maybe I can do some tomorrow morning. (Yeah right.)

This morning's fruit harvest
The great things about growing your own veg, even as a beginner, are: exercise, fresh air, cheap organic food, better for the environment, low carbon footprint. It's also educational for the kids. "Look, remember the potatoes I made you plant against your will and you complained about being dragged away from your screens for five minutes three months ago?" "Nope." "Well, look at this." "That's great, Dad. Big wow. Potatoes. Dude, I'm 12 years old, did you care about potatoes when you were 12?" "No, I was spending all my time watching TV and throwing cake ingredients at neighbours' windows." "Riiight."

Hopefully get a few more mini toms before the frost sets in
First I poked my head in the greenhouse, after using a stick to de-spider-web the place of course. Nothing better than getting a cobweb, several dead flies, spider exoskeletons and arachnid babies in your hair just after a shower. I plucked a napping snail off the inside of a pane and cast it onto the front lawn, where it tumbled to a halt near the hedge, no doubt thinking to itself, "WTF!" or whatever the snail equivalent is. Then I talked to the tomato plants. I apologised for ignoring them, I said thank you for their fruit. I asked them how their day was. The usual. They didn't respond but I like to think they appreciated it. 

The Monster Beetroot may soon get up and walk by itself
The beetroot was doing well. Not sure whether to dig it up now or leave it a bit longer. I imagine it might rot if I leave it in too long.

The strawberry
Then I examined the strawberry plant. Interesting thing about that is, last year it was overcome by grass until I left it for dead for several months. The grass died out but the strawberry survived. Now it has its pot pretty much to itself. Maybe I should rehome it.

Before
I looked at one end of the potato plot. Gathered three containers : one for weeds, dead plant stems and mouldy spuds destined for the compost; one for plastic or other inorganic matter that somehow found itself into the previous compost and therefore soil, destined for the rubbish bin, and a third for potatoes, destined for the kitchen. Got a spade and steeled myself for some hard, back-breaking, physical labour.

After
About 40 minutes later and some minor back pains I had half a sack of spuds and 1/6 of the plots had been turned over. Looked pretty good. Very satisfying. Didn't want to stop because the sight of potatoes popping up just by turning over the soil is always very rewarding. Food from the ground. Hooda thunk?

5.1 kg
The compost went into the compost, the rubbish went into the rubbish, the spuds went into the kitchen. I went for a lie down. 

Job done.

Brenda The Carrot

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