After a short break I’m back to finish the gardening series.

One thing that the garden has done is it’s given us a strange list of things to to that we wouldn’t otherwise have done.   Jobs that get added to daily and weekly routines, things to think about and try and do better as we learn.  Sometimes we even get a bit compulsive about these tasks.  Here are some of them:

Compost

The compost is MINE.  It’s one of my babies.  I like to think I’ve got quite a good mix going: grass cuttings and other activators; comfrey leaves, screwed up pages from an old yellow pages and shredded paper as roughage, plus our vegetable peelings and some unwanted foliage and cuttings.

What DOESN’T go in is just as important.  Any part of a perennial weed, large chunks of vegetable that will take a long time to rot down, diseased plants and a few other things that don’t spring to mind.

It gets inspected and turned and watered and inspected again.

Yes, I’m a bit of a compost geek!

Animal killing

Yes, if you read the pest control post you’ll know all about this, but it’s a serious ongoing job and it makes its way into my daily routine, ensuring that all the slugs are squashed, the caterpillars crushed and the little red beetles that eat our lilleys are broken.

Sometimes, it’s a nasty job, but someone’s got to do it.  Other times it can be made into a game or competition, be it how many caterpillars can I squash today, or snail-baseball.

I feel so cruel.

Burning stuff

Some of the stuff that can’t go on the compost needs to be burned.  We don’t really have a fire pit or space to have a bonfire so I’m collecting it and hoping to burn it in the little barbecue area one day.

Trouble is, it’s been wet and dry and wet and dry and so far both attempts to turn it all to ash have failed due to excessive moisture.  I kinda feel like my fire lighting skills aren’t up to scratch and I should fail to qualify as a man (they’ll evict me from my cave next week…just watch!)

Watching the weather

So many things need the right weather at the right time:

  • Cutting the lawn
  • Treating the lawn
  • Planting
  • Harvesting
  • Burning stuff
  • Watering
  • Feeding
  • Weeding

So we’re very much in touch with the seasons and planning the garden work around the weather.  Or rather, with the way things are here in England, just making it up as we go along.

Applying nematodes

These tiny killer works that we apply to keep the slug and ant populations down have strange methods of application involving taking this strange powder, mixing it up with the right amount of water, re-diluting it, applying it to the right places, and then ensuring that the ground stays moist for a time to let the worms start “swimming” in the mud.

The neighbours must think I’m bonkers going in and out of the house filling up a watering can and wetting small patches of my lawn and veg patch, seemingly at random.

Yes, we do some strange things now that we’re gardeners.