Today is dreary. Yesterday was also dreary. I can see these dreary days stretching miserably into the distance. It’s most definitely autumn now. Not the crisp, clear, sunny autumn I love, but the dull, flat, drizzly season that makes me want to stay under the covers.
The garden desperately needs my attention, and I have found any number of excuses not to go out there. The tomatoes that suffered in the heat have still not been cleared away, and the ongoing battle with powdery mildew has been resoundingly lost. I feel defeated by this garden nemesis. I’ve been fighting it off since the early spring when I treated everything with anti-fungal spray almost constantly until the dry weather of summer gave some respite. So far this year I’ve lost entire crops of peas and broad beans, and the cucumbers, zucchinis and pumpkins have been pathetic. Honestly, I’ve had 1 butternut pumpkin, 3 cucumbers and a handful of zucchini – hardly worth the effort.
This gardening year has been a struggle, but I’m determined to make next year better, so I’m facing my fears today and I’m going to clear all the rubbish away. That’ll surely make me feel a bit better. Next week will be a new start. I’m going to give the soil some much needed TLC with cow manure, compost, worm castings and a lot of digging. I’m thinking of giving some of the beds a rest and plant with clover, a green manure crop, which will then be dug back into the soil later.
I’ve already planted seedlings for a gigantic silverbeet variety called Fordhook Giant, which I’m planning to grow in pots to feed the chickens over the winter months. I’m hoping they’re going to be abundant to keep my girls healthy and happy. Poor chooks, they’ve started their annual moult and are looking about as dreadful as everything else out there.
I mustn’t get too down though, as there are still a few things doing nicely despite it all. Those capsicums are still making me smile. Quite apart from their amazing juicy crispness, they are just so cheerful. Like baubles on a Christmas tree. I’ve been amazed by the chilli plants, free from the spring garden festival, an unexpected bonus with long red chillis all over the garden. No idea what to do with them, but they are pretty. And I’m looking forward to harvesting my one pumpkin. Maybe I’ll make a fragrant pumpkin, lentil and coconut soup to warm us up a bit.
However, the excitement is mounting in the other garden, where olives are ripening now and I’m anticipating a few weeks of preserving coming soon.
I suppose life is like this. I feel better now I have a plan.
Originally posted 23/03/2014