Sunday, 11 April 2010

Planning And Plotting



Why is it that the arrival of spring always catches me by surprise and never quite ready for a new growing year? After all we had such a long cold winter surely there should have been enough time to get my house or in this case garden/allotment in order. It has been a glorious spring weekend here and I have been at the allotment for a good part of the time. I did get some work done - planted some potatoes, pruned the getting stragglier by the day eglantine rose, wrestled to extract some surplus comfrey plants and even struggled with some paving slabs to make a mini path. I have also sown carrots and radishes. Between bouts of activity it was good to stand in the sun and catch up with lottie neighbours. Good also to see the first flowers of the year on the plot apart from the daffodils - some violas planted at the back end of the year have come to life in the last week or so. The foliage is very bedraggled and I suppose I should replant but who could resist the face above?



However I also spent a good deal of time perched on the edge of one of the raised beds surveying my kingdom, notebook and pen in hand. For the life of me I can't remember what was planted exactly where last year and my notebook containing this precious information seems to have disappeared in the long winter void. Notes and sketches have been penned but it seems that I am growing more seedlings than I have space for and fitting them all in is going to be a challenge. In the meantime my autumn sown peas are flowering before I have got them in the ground! I have apologised to them and will remedy the situation forthwith.

18 comments:

  1. Dear Anna, Is it not always the case that even with what we think are the best laid plans, Nature always manages to wrong foot us in some way? But, surely, it is the thrill of the unknown and unexpected which keeps us going?!!

    You have clearly been extremely busy with so much to do in both the garden and the allotment. I noted your tussle with the Comfrey and wondered whether you use the leaves steeped in water to make a liquid feed. I was told this donkey's years ago and have found it to be a wonderful 'fix' for all manner of flowers and shrubs.

    You do indeed seem to have a veritable mountain of seedlings to plant and I hope that the good weather will continue until your plantings are complete.

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  2. I too have too many seedlings and am still buying plants! I would be lost without my notebook, I hope yours turns up soon

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  3. Hi Anna

    I'm having a homesick minute. Where else on earth can you have a 'catch up with lottie neighbours' moment. Wonderful!

    Rob

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  4. Hi Anna,

    I plan... A lot... I never *do* though. It's all very well making these wonderful plants and plots, but reality is I daydream too much, and prefer to sit and stare :)

    Good luck with all your seedlings, they look to be off to a good start already!

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  5. I have far too many seedlings too and now have more space than ever before. Perhaps it is just a gardener's state of being, however much space you have, you want to grow more than will fit!

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  6. Hi Anna, I am oh so familiar with growing more seedlings than I can manage--I do have a ton of room for them, but it gets a little overwhelming dealing with 200+ seedlings. Ahem.

    You mentioned planting potatoes. I *have* to get mine planted as they've sprouted already (I hope that's not bad). I'm going to plant them in a container and know they don't like rich soil... but since I'll have to buy the soil, how can I find non-rich soil?!

    Top soil with some sand mixed in?

    Thanks!

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  7. When my violas look ratty, I give 'em a haircut if it is still cool enough for them to survive a little while longer. They come back into bloom very quickly.

    The work goes quickly, once you start planting. Thinking about for too long is paralyzing.

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  8. It’s good to see that someone had a sunny weekend!

    I think every gardener grows more seedlings than they can fit into a garden. At first, you have to be sure in case you have lower germination rates. Then, when you have good germination rates, then you still are not sure that all of them will turn into healthy little plants, so you keep them. At the end - it’s just a shame throwing away a perfectly good seedling. And that’s how you end up with more seedlings than you need.

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  9. I too have way too many seedlings and plants for my garden. And then I create more by dividing established plants and potting up the division as I can't bare to throw it on the compost heap! Reading about your allotment makes me quite miss my old one.

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  10. Last year, I found that planting everything at the correct spacing wasted alot of space. This year, I plan to cram everything in, and harvest some while small, allowing those left behind to grow on. It sounds like you made the most of the nice weather this weekend.

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  11. Good to hear you made the most of the fine weekend weather Anna My goodness you do have a lot of seedlings but I guess its best to allow for failures and rather too many than not enough. Hope your notebook turns up soon!

    Jeanne x

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  12. Not only do I have too many seedlings myself, I also just got a tubful from a garden friend, and couldn't say no. Oh well. I envy you that lovely viola face - I tried violas again this spring against better judgment, and sure enough, they've been almost completely devoured by the slugs.

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  13. I can't resist a Viola either. I am very behind this year and spring is galloping way ahead of me. I'm not sure I am ever going to catch up!

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  14. I've got too many seedlings too, I was out today trying to figure out where they will be squeezed in. This is about the time I of year I start seeing plants reappear that I had forgotten where they had been planted. I hope you find your notebook :)

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  15. The major gardening ailment of chronic too many seedlings-itis affects us all, Anna. Also high on the list of medical problems, what is that plant and how did it get there, closely related to where is that plant that it is written down right here plain as the nose on your face was planted right here. Is there a doctor in the house?
    Frances

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  16. Oh, Anna, I can so relate to your feelings. We've had unseasonably warm weather, perfect for getting all those unfinished fall chores done before it's time to plant, and yet I don't seem to be making much progress. And if all my seedlings survive, I don't know where I'll put them:) But it's great to be able to get out and soak some sunshine and dream of the garden to come.

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  17. Hi Anna, don't worry, I thought I was being super organised this year and my plan was in place but then I got tempted by the seed rack in Sainsburys and have ended up with more things that have no allocated space, and I'm seriously considering an asparagus bed now too!

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  18. Hi Anna~~ Yep. Last year I was dealing with the same thing... too many seedlings too little space. But it's so much fun to grow things.

    And similarly, my what-plant-is-planted-where info is getting worse as the years go by. I rationalize this by reminding myself that, thanks to the digital age, I've got a lot more photo records now.

    Your seedling babies look so healthy.

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