August is fickle.
It is definitely still winter here, but August tricks me with it’s sunny days. The sunny days confuse my brain into thinking spring has already come. It makes me want to put on shorts and go outside to dig in the garden. But if I were actually silly enough to break out the shorts and rush outside I’d quickly find that the sun is just a tease… it is still bitterly cold out there.
Still it is a sign that spring will eventually come. It’s is a sign that I should stop being envious of all the summer photos of lush green grass and tall sunflowers on northern hemisphere blogs and start working towards our own summer garden.
So here I am, lusting after summer, wading through seed catalogues and dreaming up grand plans for our garden. The thing is… this spring/summer finding the time and the muscle to garden might be a little tough.
You see we finally got our building permits and are all set to start the renovations. That means the Baldy Boy will be more than a little busy tearing down the back of our house and building a new bit. It also means that we are going to be living without a kitchen and bathroom at various times over the course of the building, which is going to make life a little more difficult to manage. Oh yes… and there is also the smallest boy who tends to take up a fair bit of my time at present.
As I was pondering my grand plans and how on earth I was even going to manage to plant a single zucchini I was reminded of the question the Planning Queen asked me a while back…
“I would like to know how you juggle the outside stuff like veggie patch, the animals, with the inside stuff of the house? “
The short answer is, I don’t!
Gardening is very seasonal here on the Pickle Farm.
Spring planting is very labour intensive and we all spend way too much time in the garden, neglecting almost everything else, to get things prepared or planted in time.
Then there is the magical ‘growing phase’ where I feel like I have it almost perfectly balanced, spending time in the garden maintaining and encouraging but not to the detriment of everything else.
After that will come short bursts of manic activity when things fruit and we try to pick, eat, give away or preserve it all before it goes to waste.
Autumn comes late here and is lazy. Summer crops have produced and died back and we really should be spending time cleaning them up and preparing for next year, not to mention planing out a few winter crops, but we often don’t.
We barely touch the garden in winter. I don’t like the cold so I refuse to go out and garden in it. So anything we plant out in winter has to pretty much survive on it’s own or not!
I’m sure if I could find that magical balance and if I spent more consistent time in the garden all year round the whole growing stuff gig would work better and spring prep would be a lot less insane… but it’s just not the way it works around here at the moment.
I’ve learnt not to be too precious about the garden over the five years we’ve been attempting it. I can read all the books I like but I am never going to keep all that knowledge in my head, let alone have the time to plant those carrot seeds on the day of the April full moon. I’m just not… and that is ok. I can be a haphazard gardener and still grow plenty of great stuff and more importantly, enjoy it.
So here I am… on a sunny afternoon in August. We planted our green manure crops today. Oats, clover, peas and broad beans. Ok so we planted them all at totally the wrong time, but I’m reasonably confident they’ll still grow and still help improve our compacted soil. And despite the fact that I’ll be minus one tractor driver and man with the muscle and plus one small body strapped to my back I’m still making grand plans, even if they never come to fruition.
So who else is with me? Who is making grand garden plans for spring? What will you grow and what garden blogs inspire you or make you green with envy?