Gardening by night and day

Thanks to my neighbour’s security lights, I’ve been stepping out into the garden in the evening to check on the onions I planted the other day, tidy up the purple sprouting broccoli and water under the cloches, using the rainwater I’m still collecting.

I have also been gardening in beautiful sunlight, which I am sure has been helping my crops along no end. The aforementioned purple sprouting broccoli is indeed a-sprouting and the chard is still chugging along, although the slugs have been making quite a meal of it as well.

On the other hand, I got a lot of satisfaction out of divesting the ex-lawn of more dandelions this afternoon (along with a wadge of couch grass):

The carpet in the photo above has now been moved to a new position to kill off some of the remaining bits of lawn. Unfortunately, the area I was focussing on today was under the rotary washing line, which happened to have washing hanging on it. It was therefore a rather delicate job, lifting up the carpet and moving it across the lawn without touching the drying clothes. Especially as it was heavy with water itself. However, it is now in place and will hopefully do a successful job over the coming winter months, leaving me with a fertile vegetable patch in 2013.

I’m also hopeful that the fleece I’ve put over the cauliflowers will see them right next year.  Two winters ago it was so cold, the cauliflowers turned to mush under the fleece and, after all the hiccoughs I’ve had getting my plants from seed to seedling, I hope I finally get a crop next spring.


Come what may, the garlic will surely be fine, since it is reputed to like the cold. Furthermore, after my experiment last winter, where I used cloves from the year before’s crop, which did not do too well, I have reverted to buying fresh bulbs to plant. The onions I mentioned above are supposed to be bolt resistant as well, so next year is set to be less of a wash-out in terms of levels of garden produce, if nothing else ;).

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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10 Responses to Gardening by night and day

  1. so glad i’ve found your blog! i had no idea about the carpet trick. i hope my garlic cloves take as yours have. happy gardening!

  2. mybrightlife says:

    Ok, so excuse my ignorance but is growing garlic the same as growing onions? Would love to give it a shot! I haven’t noticed any garlic bulbs for sale around our local nurseries but perhaps I need to ask. Any advise? Thanks!

    • I think you will need to wait for autumn to plant your garlic. I understand that it thrives best if it is allowed to suffer the cold of winter. Maybe you don’t see any though as it might not get cold enough where you are? Onions are different in that they can be planted in the spring – they don’t need a bout of cold temperatures. That said, returning to the subject of garlic, it might be possible to get some which has been adapted to your climate and does not need the cold as much?

  3. I didn’t know about the carpet idea! I have a small patch in my front yard that I’m turning into a perennial bed. I might try laying carpet or something over the grassy areas….Can you use other material to do that?

    • I would think so. The main thing is to exlude light, air and water so that the grass dies.
      However, if (like me) you’ve got couch grass and dandlions – or any other deep rooted plant – in with the grass, this will remain once the grass has gone. So, you would either then need to painstakingly dig out these roots, as I am doing, or resort to some kind of weedkiller.

  4. suburbable says:

    Do you use your dandelions, Helen? They have so many uses I feel sad when I hear someone just composts them or throws them out.

    • Helen says:

      No, I don’t use them. I realise that the leaves are very nutritious but I have so many greens in the garden, which I also just compost. Also, it’s difficult enough to get my daughter to eat any greens, so I am working on one at a time 😉.

      As for the root, I would like to make coffee with it but it’s a question of space and time. Being a 24/7 single with a demanding career outside the home and the desire for a support network and friendship, some things have got to give…….

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