On the gardening workload

img_10661Flea beetle damage on the mustards, the little buggers

For the last two months since the snow melted I have been doing the gardener’s equivalent of thumb-twiddling.

I have limited my exertions to weeding the paths, tidying the beds, doing minor repairs, putting in new fencing, digging new beds (yes in wet clay soil bad me) and in general just fussing.  I’ve made a couple of furtive runs to a farm down the road to get some of their lovely composted horse manure.  Chicken coop cleaned, compost turned, animal fencing repaired.

Damned seedling light tuned off, freeing me from the tyranny.

And now?  NOW there aren’t enough hours in the day to garden!  How did that happen?  I thought I got all the time-consuming-but-necessary work done and out of the way!

15 responses to “On the gardening workload

  1. Oh, I can hear the tsunami coming. Have worked furiously to get another big pile of compost going. In between rains, got all the tomatoes in the ground, shredded a bail of straw for mulch, erected cages, mowed grass around all the beds with push mower, tansplanted brussels sprouts and Tuscan kale and onions, continue to water seed trays and run trays outside for sun and now am waiting for a break in the current heat wave to transplant peppers and eggplants. We’ve never been so organized, but I know it’s just beginning.

  2. I don’t know how that happens. Every year I think I’m ahead of the game, but nope it never happens. At least we aren’t inside watching TV. Life is good.

  3. I’m still in a lull here. (SoCentral WI) Spring stuff is mostly in (and sitting there), summer stuff is waiting for the late April weather roller coaster to end before going in the ground.

    I hear ya though, it will be here in a few weeks. I have to say I kind of love the spring workload–I generally have the energy to do it and of course the excitement and motivation–and the days are so darn long! It’s fall when I start to poop out with a very long to-do list.

  4. Spring does sneak up on you like that. The other day I was thinking I was doing great and now I’m busy as a bee.

  5. I can’t to see my roses blooming in the backyard.

  6. Argh those flea beetles. It’s not even May and within two days they made swiss cheese out of my large healthy huckleberry transplants. My poor husband was so upset. I had NO idea he cared one bit about the huckleberries. He told me to find out how to deal with them. I told them I get flea beetles every year and never can eradicate them lol. They tear into my eggplants every year but those eggplants, they always manage to come back and shock me with loads of fruits.

  7. Oh, those flea beetles are going to town in my garden too. Suddenly and without warning and I can’t find them to kill them now! Between the hail holes in the leaves and the flea beetles, I’m amazed at how fast they are growing.

  8. This is the most advanced garden we ever hjad at this time of the year. Yet, I look at all the things I still have to do and the hundreds of seedling that need transplanting, and I wonder: how am I going to do it? when?

  9. I have seen a lot of insect activity in the garden; it’s quite early for it too. But I too feel like I am ahead, and I too will feel utterly overwhelmed in a few weeks. It’s an illusion, this preparedness.

  10. Ah….spring! I’m preparing for my first frost in the new place. No real idea of how bad or benign they are. I have remay and plastic covering the lettuces and other tender greens which I can grow outside but will need to cover at night! No deep freezes here but a green house (even some plastic) does extend the growing season alot. I’m pulling out my spent tomato plants now as you get ready to put yours in. I’m looking forward to a slow down in growth and a chance to do the infrastructure work. Enjoy your spring summer; as always I look forward to reading about it.

  11. Yes, it all seems to come in a big flood all at once. I was at the community garden where I’m starting to volunteer yesterday, and the clearing, digging…. and the insects out in full force on top of it all! No matter how much the planning, it seems nature hands us an onslaught in its own time. But in a crazy way, this is the ‘coming to life’ business I’ve waited for all winter 🙂

  12. Love your blog! About the flea beetle problem, I’ve heard that you can repel them if you plant hyssop in with your greens. I might try it this year just to see …

  13. Ed, I hope your tomatoes were okay. Isn’t it funny how you can just feel the approaching storm? I am woefully behind, I swear.

    Pamela, well, tv-watchers aren’t as sore on Monday mornings, now, are they 🙂 I actually appreciate this level of activity after months of just biding my time.

    Sara, well, here’s hoping things are springing up after our warm weekend. I do hear you on the difference between fall and spring as far as motivation goes but frankly I just adore being out in the garden making things happen (and unhappen); it beats winter!

    Daphne, so it’s not just me 😉 huh?

    Kristen! Roses. Sigh. I lost a lot of growth after this last winter but the thorny things are leafing out fine now, so here’s hoping…

    Oh Kim I hear you: my eggplants always look so pathetic, especially if I plant them outside. Inside the greenhouses, the attack is just delayed for some reason! But your poor huckleberries. They haven’t found mine yet but I worry.

    Christy, it’s such a sneak attack. Turn your back and voila holey leaves.

    Sylvie, it’s this time of year I think I should just take a week off. But even then wouldn’t be enough time so I just accept that I am starting behind schedule!

    Elizabeth, it is. It’s pathetic, this illusion of control. But I *am* glad I weeded the paths when I did: seeing weeds when I am really busy just puts me into a funk.

    It must be fun learning about the seasons in a new place, Nada! Good luck with dealing with the frost…it’s something of a relief when it finally comes but, well, you know me: I can’t seem to stop gardening. But yes nice cool weather for all those heavy-lifting projects should help you get things done…

    MC, yep, we’ve been waiting for this! We just need to tell ourselves this, especially when you feel overwhelmed.

    Hyssop, Erin? Hmm. I will need a lot of hyssop then! But thank you, and hey, I am glad you like the blog, and glad you piped up because I love learning about other gardeners too!

  14. I’m assuming the ‘tyranny’ comes from switching the lights on and off?

    You can buy a clip strip that has a digital timer in it. I have one, and when it works, it’s very nice.

    Unfortunately, it’s such a *pain* to set the thing (and heaven help you if you accidentally turn off the power afterward) that after the first year I gave up on it.

    There must be better models out there (right?) but since it’s only 8 weeks a year, I haven’t bothered getting another.

    This year I split the seeds (tender annuals indoors, anything that can be sown outdoors before last frost on the deck) and wouldn’t you know it is 90 deg here today. Bleah. The other day I opened the seed trays a little late and the soil was steaming. 😦 Cosmos ‘Psyche White’ seeds germinated and keeled over before I could rescue them.

    Hope it didn’t cook all the seeds. The bees and I will be so disappointed!

  15. Oh Firefly the light on-off dealio is the least of it. (I do have a timer though; I have a powerstrip plugged into the timer and yeah it does work.) It’s the whole filling pot/seeding/watering/turning thing, then lifting the )&$^@! lights up above the growing plants. OH and keeping the one plant-hungry cat out: the whole process is NERVE WRACKING.

    I sowed a bunch of my flowers in the new greenhouse and their germination has been spotty at best. I *love* cleome and even though it’s a self-sower it never does it for me, so I am sorry to hear about yours! Bummer.

    Have you ever tried winter sowing? I will admit seeing a bunch of little cast-off plastic pots and containers filled with dirt is not something I would like to see outside my doors (it’s tough enough living in the country with all the country “stuff” around) but supposedly it has lots of devotees as far as a method goes. And heck it would get you away from the lights, or the freakishly hot days!

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