I fear I may have turned out to be all grown up without my even realising it. I know this because on the sunny afternoon of the Bank Holiday Sunday, with the girls happily engaged in whatever game of something they were playing at the time (something that seems to involve quite a few karate-esque kicks from the sounds of things), and H out at cricket, young master Pip Squeak and I armed ourselves with the grown up trowel and all three little people trowels and went out to do the weeding. Gardening on a Sunday afternoon – that sounds terribly responsible doesn’t it.
And in this case; long overdue. The battles with the cat have put me off going too near until I can do the necessary disposals and the previous week I’d just been too grumpy to even start. But the little black box seemed to be working its magic (and has continued to do so, save for the one occasion when it was repositioned leaving two beds unprotected at which point they were shall we say recontaminated), and so I set to clearing and then weeding.
Last year my garlic and onions got a bit choked up with weeds over the winter and I promised myself it wasn’t going to happen again this year but goodness me can grass grow fast when it wants to and it wasn’t until I started to properly weed that I could see just how much grass was in there. It all looks a lot smarter now, even though all my onions appear to be falling over, which I suspect is because I didn’t plant the sets deep enough and/or they’re too close together so they’re not growing very big. I think part of me is still amazed every time I plant something and it actually grows so I need to remember that I don’t actually have to plant every seed in the packet. Less is more will be my new planting resolution – well for next year anyway.
The strawberries and blackcurrant, being nice sturdy plants, are doing just fine. Pip and I weeded out all the stray bits of grass and a whole heap of soil that for some reason my wee boy decided was superfluous to requirement. We’ve still got strawberry flowers coming thick and fast but the petals have dropped from a fair few and the bonus of all this week’s rain will have to be nice big juicy strawberries in a few weeks’ time.
I have six remaining purple bean plants in the far bed which seem to be coping, despite clearly coming under attack from some sort of nibbly thing. I’ve heard good things about planting nasturtiums and basil as sacrificial offerings to the wee beasties and I’ve certainly got space in this bed for it – has anyone ever tried that, and did it work?
Down the other end I have finally thinned the parsnip seedlings. We have one solid row of parsnips and a few partial rows but there’s enough there to make a decent crop. I suspect they’ll need another thinning before we’re done but I’m hoping to let them grow a little more first in the hopes of some baby veg from the thinnnings.
And last but by no means least, the most recent sowings are all making an appearance.
The spinach is now a nice green carpet with occasional bald patches where Pip has grabbed up a handful, the pea shoots are slowly unfurling, definitely my favourite of all the seedlings to watch grow, and in between there is a faint haze of green where some teeny tiny carrots are starting to make an appearance.
If we can keep the garden cat free, and not loose too many plants to this tiny boy’s favourite activities of “weeding” and running straight through the beds, we might just be growing some veg this summer!