I’ve been talking about planting the garlic & onions for a while and now came the time to actually get round to it! Tom pointed out though that we hadn’t actually managed to get the garlic so it’d just be onions we were planting.
As soon as the frost had thawed this morning Tom, Boo and I were out there digging over the empty patch prepping it for the onions. I’m a bit worried about spacing as the packet says 5inches but it looks so close together. I suppose this is another example of learning. We’ll plant as we’re told and see what happens. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work, a little disappointing in terms of effort and anticipation but not life threatening.
Then we prepped the ground for our overwinter cauliflowers. These are supposed to be the small type with dense heads – just as I like them! After digging the soil we placed mini tunnels over them to heat the ground. They’re supposed to be planted in cold frames but we don’t have any so we’re improvising…. Again, we’ll have to wait and see how they turn out! I’m sowing them this afternoon in egg boxes and then I’ll plant them out next week, I’m sure it’ll turn out to have been all wrong but I thought I’d try anyway.
After the work Tom asked me to pull up a parsnip or two for Sunday lunch. I tried, I really really did… but I just couldn’t! All I could think of was the story of the ‘Enormous Turnip’, a ladybird book that was one of my first reads ever and a favourite even now! I still have my original copy with my name written in awkward capitals in the front (and the back and in various other places through the book). I read it to both Noise and Muffin when they were little but haven’t got round to reading it to Boo yet. Anyway, back to my ‘enormous turnip’, I got a trowel and I tried digging round it, no joy, so then I called Tom, he got the trowel and dug further, deeper, he tried gripping it and twisting it – still no joy. We called over Noise who was busy playing with Boo, “hey Noise, do you remember the ‘nornip turnip’?” (my vocab when I was little wasn’t quite what it is now and that particular bit has stuck!). She came running over as of course she did remember! It turns out the ‘nornip parsnip’ wasn’t quite so ‘nornip’ after all but had lots of roots growing off, still a mini monster though.
When we originally dug over the wasteland that was our allotmenty area we gave the girls a patch to tend and grow stuff in. They dug a little, they carefully chose what they wanted to plant and then they did…. I have to say that one season on they have learnt some lessons, unfortunately not the easy way. If you drop all your seeds in one place you will indeed get some shoots come up. If you choose not to thin these in spite of your mothers insistence then you will end up with very little. Eventually they agreed to allow me to remove some of their growth and so we managed to salvage a few beetroot and radishes. The best thing to come out of the garden was Noise’s salad leaves that have been absolutely delicious (or so Tom and the girls tell me, my aversion to leaves since falling pregnant doesn’t seem to be going) and after some serious thinning the other day we may succeed in having about 5 swedes out of the entire packet Muffin chucked in!
Next year they have vowed to dig, to weed, to sow thinly, to thin further and to continue hoeing and then they will reap the rewards of a garden well tended.
I haven’t mentioned my mammoth parsley. At the beginning of the season we sowed parsley, it din’t grow. Or so we thought. We sowed a little more parsley. Still it didn’t grow. I gave up. I had heard a while back (many moons ago) that ‘a nagging wife can’t grow parsley’ so i figured myself to be a nagging wife (although i strongly suspected Tom might be the ‘nagging wife’….). We went off to Spain, the girls and I spent a month with my parents and since we’ve returned (mid July) we’ve not been able to eat enough parsley….
It took over and it doesn’t seem to be going away. Trust me, we eat parsley, lots of parsley – but not this much!!