366 Days of Gardening! E12 – W9

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The Realities of Gardening!

366 Days of Gardening Directory

E12 – W9

The last week of gardening has been up and down, from the last episode  – Aloe, aloe!! Where does one start? where l managed to get my first early season seeds sown, l also managed to get additional seeds sown on March 1st – which for me was last Sunday and l was quite pleased to make such a head start …. however, at the same time l was making some space available in the conservatory to move all the sown seeds into warmer space [for Monday] to allow the germination process to begin.

However …. On Sunday night instead of being under cover of the seed wardrobes, and despite the weather centre stipulating no rain forecast – we had a truly serious hail and rain storm and extremely heavy winds storm – the end result was that the green house got absolutely slammed. Panes cracked and fissures widenened ….

The seeds that were not under cover didn’t just get watered, but they were drenched. On Monday l brought them in to the conservatory, space or not they came indoors in an attempt to try and dry them out and hopefully save the early sowings. By Thursday however, l knew that at the next available dry time l would have to destroy and start again what l couldn’t save.

 Feb 26 & March 1st early seed sowings completely destroyed. Above as they were, below what they looked like this afternoon during salvage.

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This is when you realise that some ‘organic farming methods’ basically suck! Toilet rolls and earthen ware modules are great for balanced sprinkling watering, but fail miserably  if deluged – hardly surprising – these units are highly biodegradable, what else can you expect except damage.

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Luckily not everything was lost from the 1st.

Whilst l had small pockets of sunshine during the week, these seeds were taking their time drying and l had to get on with laying out the garden for the season – so l have had a busy week, and in the last seven days – we have also had serious and continuous heavy rains for four and half of them. Some of the heavy rains we experienced were from Wednesday am to Thursday afternoon and in that space we saw 6cm of rain drop! Our hill road was not just a running stream but a raging river!

I have just ordered the greenhouse, it will be delivered next week. This morning [Saturday 7th] was the first time l could sort through the planted seeds and try and salvage what had been sown on both the 26th and the 1st and of 100% sowings only 35% could be salvaged the rest had to be destroyed.

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The bigger units survived the soaking but will the seeds?

The bigger units seed is sown into – seem to have a higher survival chance –  however time will tell if the soaking the units above received has damaged the sowing chances and if these seeds have to be resown again as well. Which will be very annoying … being organic is great if the conditions are also great …. but, they have limitations which is why you can understand people preferring to still use single use plastic seed pots.

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Salvage attempts … on smaller earthen bio-units with very fine seed.

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Time will tell if today’s salvage attempts have worked or whether too much water damage was taken on board – although l have sown new the 65% that was destroyed. It’s whether the remaining rescued 35% will survive at this stage.  The deluge really did throw things into disarray if l am honest.  These are not even the main body of seed sowings – that is still to be done next week, but with the greenhouse in the state it is – everything is now waylaid again … of sorts. Supposedly the weather is warming up … who told me that l hear you ask?

The weather centre!!!

All that aside – if the remaining seeds are damaged l will just have to sow fresh seeds it’s that simple. Sad, but simple. That’s gardening!

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“We have the seeds, we can re-seed, we have the technology!”

I sound flippant and care free about it all  – but l don’t feel it and l am not .. l am in a nutshell pretty demotivated and upset about things, stressed to the hilt – the damage has meant wasted energies and time and an overall uncertainty if other seeds are rotting in their soils like the French beans were as an example … time will tell. But l am already making contingency plans to sow new seeds up of the seeds l don’t know the future of. I planted ahead because l needed certain plants to be ahead of the season … you know?

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So in the last seven days and with only 2 and half days of sun, l had to get a serious amount of work done – salvage drenched seed sowings , Turn 12 of the compost and laying out the garden for the season. 2 and a half days sounds like a lot but the reality is all this had to be done in basically 6 – 7 hours due to the expected rains for the days. So whilst some mornings were sunny l was always racing against the coming rainy afternoons. So this last week l have been out early – 7.30 – 8am and working flat out till 1-2pm.

I managed to finalise Turn 12 of the compost – so that is all done, and that is a huge bonus. I am really pleased – that is totally on schedule … you may recall in the Turn 8 Post – Episode 5 – Week 6    – that l was working with two full bins of ground compost. Well l have managed to complete the Turn and now l am only working with one full bin of ground compost which is awaiting a fresh sieving at Turn 16. I have used one completely  full compost bin of rough ground compost in the garden in the beds and all the containers.

Soil last Monday and soil left yesterday!

Yesterday, Friday l finally managed to finish the garden layout of beds and containers, l busted a gut to get some things done and in some cases literally, l have pulled muscles that haven’t been used  since the shoulder injury and l am feeling it, but at least  the garden is now ready ….

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From left to right …. carrot box, celery box, two climbing French bean containers. The carrot box has to be 100% fluffy non stony dressed and a good 10″ deep. These four are the start of the garden area near the curly bush.

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The first two beds to the left of the carrot box and then continuing left …

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….. till we have all of the season’s layout ready. This year l have to work with 3  x 48″ raised beds, 4 x 31″ raised beds, 2 x 24″ wooden box and 26 assorted sized containers for the main bulk of our prime vegetable growing.

Containers of which there are a fair few both old plastic and the new trial fabric have all been laid up, with ground compost, top soil, mineralised and finely sieved composted and sited ready for the season.

The garden this year has had to be designed with the fact that the neighbours beech tree has now stolen a third of our growing zone’s sunlight, so everything can only be sited from the curly bush to the back of the house. This year, the patio is now making up for the missing third of the garden.

The patio garden is still to be sorted, but at present for herbs and fruit production l have about 20 pots to work with. So all in all, the garden is ready to receive the seedlings …. now all we really need is some nice weather and like all gardening – luck and of course the acceptance and understanding that there are realities to pretty and productive gardens … they are the stresses and the pitfalls, perils and disasters.

Today, Suze and l started on the shed in the murky afternoon .. it’s a start. Slowly things are starting to move forwards.

Anyway, the beauty and reality of gardening eh ….

Catch you later, thanks for reading …

Rory

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12 thoughts on “366 Days of Gardening! E12 – W9

  1. 🌱💚🤎 looks great Rory despite the rain deluge!!! Lots if work but worth it in the end. Start my tomato 🍅 seeds tomorrow. Doing 🐝 this year too. 🍯

  2. Our biggest problem was not enough water. Our water bill doubled or tripled when we had the big garden.

    I can relate to the frustration of having a bunch of work undone! Ben gives me lessons every weekend. He makes me build, tape, create… then he takes it all apart and wants me to redo🙄🤬🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. Sign of madness that is … watch out for hairy palms!!

      Yes it is frustrating, and yes, sure it’s all part of the gardening year, doesn’t make it any less upsetting though 🙂

  3. Oh yes, I remember such struggles! Can be very discouraging. But, thank goodness, you did get an early start. Hopefully the remainder of the gardening season is more supportive of your efforts! And, Rory, if I was handing out the grades on gardening, you would most certainly get an “A” for effort! 😊

    1. Cheers Betty – gardening can be as you know one of the most inspiring activities to take part in as well as sadly one of the most disheartening.

      I think the rains of this season have been really quite disparaging to the motivation. It has felt like a continued uphill support.

      I should not complain, at least our flooding is minimal, l think of parts of the country that a bit of a drenching would have been welcomed in consideration to what they have.

      The motivation in the UK at present is very very low and worrisome for many people.

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