Monday, 8 September 2014

Garden tasks

I was thinking this week that the gardening year deserves its own calendar year, much like the financial year. The first of January is not a beginning in the garden. By the first day of the conventional calendar year, tomatoes are mature, beans, capsicum, eggplants, zucchini are busy doing their thing. The pumpkin vines are trailing everywhere and setting their fruit. Often the garden is beginning to struggle with the summer heat and needing regular watering to revive wilting plants.

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!!


Lynda D said...

Iagree. Im more excited about this New Year date than the other one on 1st of Jan. Spring seems to bring its own energy that allows you to get stuck in with all the plantings. Happy New Year Linda.

Linda said...

And to you Lynda! It's a great time of year, isn't it.

Cheryl said...

It frustrates me no end, that my garden always ends up on the bottom of the list, I need to work on that, it's beckoning me too, but I've just been too busy! {Sigh}

Linda said...

I know how you feel Cheryl. I' ve had plenty of years like that. Hopefully you get some time soon!

Anonymous said...

Feed the kids? Wait, oh yeah, I did remember today. ;) I know how you feel. Thankfully small tummies are connected to noisy mouths that never fail to remind me that, despite having each eaten 2-3 apples, they are STAAAAARVING hungry. Funny about that, it was 1:45pm!

Happy New Year to you Linda. First of September indeed is truly the best new years date... For the southern hemisphere at least. I guess up over that funny line they'd go for March 1st. Either way, HAPPY NEW YEAR AND A JOYFUL YEAR OF GARDENING TO YOU ALL! :D

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

For me here in QLD the 1st of August is when I need to get out there are load the soil with heaps of cow manure and dig it in. If I do this in the first 2 weeks I can spend the second 2 weeks planting my summer crops.

Linda said...

Hi Rabidlittlehippy, hahaa, you're right. They never let us forget that they're there. Happy gardening.

Fiona I forget there's such a big variation within our own country! We can't plant out our summer crops for more than another month yet. Enjoy your veggies! :-)