Springing into the Garden, or Spring not yet Sprung!
It is officially Spring, and the weather is the usual mixed bag of yuck and promising. Nothing is certain and you are thrown into the whirlpool of hope and delight, tinged with gloom and despair! It is mid-November, and we hanker after a fire blazing to feel a temporary blissful heat in the evening chill!
But, on those days when the wind and rain are not-too distant memories, and the sun wins the battle to outshine the chill in the air, I venture out with a clipboard of To Do lists! First up: declare war on all the weeds that took over while we were sunning ourselves in Fiji the last three weeks, and on those pesky overwintering slugs and snails that decimate whole beds of newly planted spring seedlings (I use Quash, an eco-friendly option which kills the slime-footed blighters but leaves birds and hedgehogs to see another day).
‘Tis the season of Citrus. Wonderful Signature Food for female breasts! If you cut a citrus cross-ways, it resembles the mammary glands of female breasts! I am collecting red and yellow grapefruit, oranges, lemons and mandarins by the basket-full! I tend to make blends of different citrus orbs into a wonderful juice most mornings. A great immune boosting dose of fresh Vitamin C.
Here’s a great way to use your citrus peels; make it into a non-toxic household cleaner!
Fill a glass jar with 1L white vinegar. Add the skins of citrus; grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, orange etc. Allow to steep for 3-4 days. Pour mixture into spray bottle and use as a general spray and wipe (not to be used on brushed stainless steel surfaces). Does not smell of vinegar but rather has a pleasant citrus undertone. And flies don’t like it, so don’t tend to land where you have recently sprayed! A fly deterrent! Yay, good for those pesky house flies in summer!
There are definite signs of Spring, even though I find I am still wearing my merinothermals! Blossoms everywhere and that rush of growth on everything green! I am planting my seeds: tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, beans, flowers, chillies, corn, herbs and lettuces. Some have come up and grown into healthy little seedlings, still awaiting others’ slower emergence, but it never ceases to thrill me when I see them push up through the soil. I am trialling a home-made compost mix to raise the seeds in, covered with a fine blanket of seedling mix (store-bought). That way, I have to buy far less store-bought stuff, and although I have the odd 3-4 weeds come through in each tray, a quick cull restores order.
Store-bought seeds have a Best Before date, which I take roughly-not-terribly-much notice of. If the date is older than a year or two, I simply sow more seeds than normal, allowing for seed failure rate. It does happen, rarely, that nothing comes up, but I would rather try than throw away perfectly good seed!
So, as I stoke the fire tonight, and plan my garden activities for that sunshiney day (whenever that may be), I languish in the anticipation of long, warm, sunny days to come…………….. Bring It On!!