Monday, April 02, 2007

Grrr there is going to be a bit of a rant here so be prepared. But first I will talk about what went on positively in the garden this weekend.
The peas I had transplanted died - obviously peas are not meant to be grown other than straight in the ground so I will know not to do that again. So I planted two new rows of peas and snowpeas and hopefully those will come up.
Also planted a row of spinach and a little bed of radishes, as the others didn't work either, must have been too cold. Some of the potatoes I had planted early in March were frost affected, so I cut the dead growth off some and just planted a few more potatoes in that patch.
I also worked on my potato barrel!!! I put some rocks in the bottom, then filled it about 1/5 with a mixture of topsoil and compost. Then I planted the spuds. As soon as I spot the leaves coming up, more compost will go on and so on and so on. This has intrigued my fellow gardeners, so I hope it works so as not to lose face!
Watered and turned my compost, I am surprised at how well it is coming along! A lot of the grass and vegetable matter has broken down. I will probably be able to use some of it soon.
The fruit bushes are doing well. The gooseberries have quite a few leaves and the raspberries are just starting their buds. Weather here is quite cool and humid, they don't seem to mind this too much. Some sun, but not very hot.
Sunday, I went down with the kids. We had two objectives, one was to plant the strawberries and the second was to plant their flower beds. I forked over the patch again (I had already buried a bit of kitchen waste there in the winter) and I added a bit more compost. We laid the black plastic then with Biggest one we planted, he did the holes and I put the plants in.
Then came time to do their flower beds. I had already dug over all this ground in the winter, so I hacked it up a bit with the hoe and added a bit of compost and peat (yes I know, bad, this is the bag I was given). Suddenly the fellow responsible for the allotments came strolling over. He says "I see you are having a lot of trouble with your garden". !!??? wtf? Of course I did not appreciate this AT ALL so immediately in defensive mode. "Well, what makes you say that?" He looks at the peas. Yes, well, he would have to look at the peas, wouldn't he? "They won't grow", he says, "you don't transplant peas". "Well, I have now learnt this, which is why I just planted some more". Then he looks at what I am doing and says "What are you planting here?". OK it is just a few flowers. "You haven't dug." he says. Well, I had dug as a matter of fact, but he goes and gets a fork and digs everything up again!! "That's how you do it" he says, "Now when you don't know how to do something don't be afraid to ask." I was f***Ing speechless, which is unusual for me. He then berates my neighbour "why didn't you help her dig?". The neighbour, quite rightly says "She didn't ask me to...and err, well, everyone has their own way of doing things, don't they?" As if I am going to ask the others to dig my garden!! So the old fart is saying "when you don't know ask, we are all here to help each other" which is fine, but why me? Because I am young, female and do the garden by myself. I was waiting for him to call me "girly".
I was furious. The lady that gardens next to me, who is very nice, came over and said, "would you like a hand with the digging?" But I explained that my philosophy was not like that, that I had taken on the garden, knowing I would be doing it myself and that I had to learn from my mistakes. I have had a garden before, I feel that I am not totally clueless, but it is slow going and I am trying to do it piece by piece. That doesn't mean that I can't make it happen!!!!
I admit though that when I looked around at the other gardens, with their neat rows of well kept cabbages, leeks, neat rows of well dug soil, I did feel a bit despondant. My lot is still half covered in carpet, a few straggly garlic and onion tops, the sticks that will be my fruit bushes and a bit of grass. But considering there was nothing there 3 months ago I feel like I am not doing so badly. I will just have to keep slogging away.

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Everyone else probably has neat plots because they are terrified of Old Fart. Don't listen, just do things your own way. Don't lose your rag. Smile sweetly and say "Yes, OK" and then totally ignore everything he says and do it your own way anyway.

Then make an effigy of him using potatoes held together with toothpicks and burn it on a bonfire then eat it with plenty of butter.
Tell the Old Fart from me that can transplant peas pefectly well!

I always do it that way, as it gets a better success rate than sticking in them in the ground just for the mice to eat.

A lot of people sow them in guttering, so when the time comes, you can just hoe out a shallow trench, and slid them into it all one go with out disturbing them too much.

In your case I suspect the only problem was that it's a bit early still, and was probaby too cold.


ha ha ha thanks for the encouragement. I too think that my peas got frost bitten, ah anyway I don't care, just planted some more. Someone else tld me that they might get eaten by the birds anyway...aarrgh! Hope they work, I love peas.
On my lottie, it is 95% old, retired men that go there to escape their nagging wives and spend more time nattering and drinking beer than anything else. occasionnaly they run a rotovator over the ground and bung in something. All they seem to grow is potatoes and cabbages as far as I can see. I mean I work a 40 hr week and have 2 kids, I can't be there every 5 minutes! but when I do go, I do the things I intended to do. And I mean if things don't grow properly, that's my look out isn't it? Such busybodies...
I said (quite sarcastically) well thank you for those important details. Thinking to myself: But no one was around in January when I dug up huge bits by hand and buried all my kitchen waste!! if I had done nothing, where did I get the huge box of compost, created from all the grass and weeds that I pulled up?? If I had been an old fart myself he would have stayed mum. In the autumn I will leave stray parnsips on his lot to annoy him :-)
I agree with you Antipastogirl! The very best way to learn is to get stuck in & make mistakes YOURSELF! I heard a guy a few weeks ago on the tele saying that "failure" was a rubbish word as the only failure is not trying - if you step into the arena & have a go then good for you. I also remember my old chemistry teacher "A negative result is just as important as a positive one". If we just follow the old blokes advise we'll learn nothing other than how to garden like them & nothing will ever improve.

I know they mean well - but "shut the *%^$ up!" & let me carry on messing about...
Great blog Antipodes Girl. I live in Liverpool but have studio in Nice. I keep bringing French seeds home to try.
Thanks for putting me on your links, I have not got a links slot yet but will work on it forthwith.
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