Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting cold feet

More often that not, its dark when I leave the house over the colder months. When I arrive home its darker. Some nights I still go out to see the plot, when the need is most great. But I'm almost never there in the mornings. It's hard enough getting out of bed, let alone venturing that one step colder. For me, the coming of Winter marks the time where the otherwise steady, stable relationship I have with my garden disintegrates into a series of intermittent weekend flings and one-night stands. Thus, the most used pages of my little black book at this time of year are full of self-confident, independent and motivated types who are mutually agreeable with these kinds of on-again-off-again arrangements. I'd like to think we've become quite comfortable with one another over the years.

Broccoli is performing surprisingly well this year, considering that the plants were eaten down to the ground three times before they gained any traction. I spent April squashing the caterpillar of the cabbage white butterfly, as well as attempting in vain to find out how in gods name the slugs were getting past my defenses.  Next year I'll plant broccoli in late May - when I've found both these pests are a lot less active. My July succession crop of broccoli suffers none of the above problems, but I fear its growing too slow to crop before the hot weather gives it a beating. But all up, since April, the only thing I've done for them is harvest the results.

At the risk of loosing my title as a lazy gardener, I'm now going to carefully use the term succession a number of times more - hopefully not to the shock and disappointment of you, my dear readers. My bush beans grew so well through the June, I was even game enough to plant a succession crop of those right in winter's heart - which are coming along surprisingly well. Up to a kilo a week has been collected in short sprints between the patch and my climate controlled abode.

The onions are doing as onions do. Nothing too quickly. But alas! I even have a succession crop of those!

Despite the best efforts of the seed packet to scare me from planting parsnips in late May, I went ahead and did it anyway. They've been growing extremely well, hand in hand with a row of carrots, all the way through the colder months. Its almost like they don't need me at all.

So maybe I have to admit I did in some ways become a little more committed to the Winter Garden this year.

But only a little.


  1. I envy you your broccoli. What a lousy year I had with it!

  2. I saw your broc the other day - I find like everything else in the garden, you can be lucky one year, and not know what you did wrong the next. Of course, the rest of your garden is looking amazing, so don't let it worry you too much :)