If I were to choose a date to mark the beginning of a year of vegetables, I would choose the first of September. Of course there is no clear line. There is no stopping or starting time. If we are to grow our own veggies then we are always popping in a few seeds, pulling out unwanted weeds, building the next load of compost, fertilising etc. Growing fresh, yummy vegetables is an ongoing, all-year-round process.
However, it has been this week that I have heard the garden beckoning to me in a fairly demanding voice. I've been spreading compost, Hubby's been cleaning out goat pens and piling the straw for use as compost or mulch. I've been watering again, caring for seeds, giving liquid feeds, harvesting asparagus and belatedly adding manure and mulch to the raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb. I'm planning to collect pine needles to spread under the strawberries and raspberries. I've spread garden lime at the advice of a gardening friend. I'm REweeding a patch of garden that is growing weeds so prolifically that they are starting to suffocate some young plants of lavender and wormwood. I've begun recording my actions in the garden again because I can't rely on my scatterbrain. I use an online site called Collective Garden to keep ongoing records because I'm likely to plant seeds one day and forget in which bed by the following day if I don't keep a record! And I'm trying to remember to keep feeding the children while I get distracted by my garden.
So the gardening year isn't about the start of needing to do jobs outside; it's about the pace picking up. It's about watching plants growing before your very eyes. It's about completing one job, only to realise there are three more tasks resulting from what you have just achieved. The mental list, or in my case the written record, keeps expanding but strangely brings not pressure, but elation as we realise spring has sprung.
Happy new year for the spanking new Veggie Year, 2014!!