20 May 2012


Labelling things isn't a strength of mine, as I've admitted before. Sometimes it matters, as with tomato plants - you need to know which variety is which if you're going to be selling them. Although even then, some people were willing to buy my 'pot luck plants' at the farmers' market yesterday - these ones were half the usual price of the labelled ones because I didn't know which variety they were. Not a labelling problem this time, but a self-seeding one. All those tomato plants had grown from seeds dropped by last year's plants in the greenhouse beds and consequently I didn't have a clue which was which.

Usually, not labelling things isn't a problem as the seeds germinate quickly enough that I remember where I've sown them and recognise the seedlings as they emerge. With basil, though, the seeds take so long to germinate that there's a danger of forgetting where I've put them. I was fairly sure that I had sown some in the greenhouse already this year, but today I thought I'd better sow some more, as I couldn't remember where I'd put them and was worried that I'd accidentally disturbed the slow-to-emerge seedlings by putting something else in the same spot. Labelling the area where I'd sown them would have helped, I'm sure.

Of course, as soon as I'd sown the second set of seeds, I found the original lot - tiny, but intact:

Apart from the stint at the farmers' market, Mike and I have spent most of this weekend in the garden, tilling, planting, mulching and sowing. And labelling what I've sown. Not.

As this is likely to be the neatest the vegetable garden looks for the rest of the year, here's a photo. At the very bottom is the garlic I planted last October, growing well. Above that is the bed into which I sowed beans, greens, carrots and parsnips today. Behind that, under a layer of grass-clipping mulch, is one of the potato beds (there's another opposite it).

Now all I need is some good rain to water everything in. I gave this bed a preliminary drink with water from the greenhouse tank last night. In my mind's eye I was going to be serenely standing there, creating rainbows in the last of the evening sunshine with the water from the hose, satisfied with my day's work. In reality, I struggled with the tangled hose for five sweaty minutes and then was swarmed by mosquitoes when I finally got the thing in the right place. There wasn't a lot of serenity involved.

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