Tuesday’s Top Five – Start of Spring Gardening Jobs

My motivation today is a bit low in general, so I was going to ditch this post in favour of the block of dark chocolate that’s sitting in the cupboard calling my name (I will get to that later, believe me).  Anyway, I’ve decided to take my sister’s advice and ‘suck it up Princess’ (she’s so caring isn’t she?) and do the post regardless of my mood.  What I should have done in preparation though is to get out the camera before the sun went down and gets some shots for this post, but that didn’t happen so please forgive me on that front.

On to my main topic, with the start of Spring and a glorious one at that, certain jobs became necessary in my garden.  Here are my top five…

1. Plant the tomato seedlings up into bigger pots
This is an exciting one as the seeds I planted at the end of July are already looking like proper tomato plants and outgrew the seed tray.  I only potted up about twelve mostly Princip Borgese which is a cherry tomato variety, plus a few San Mazanos which looks a bit like a Roma.  The Armish Pastes have been a bit slower so they will wait another week or two in the seed tray.  I still have them inside but I think it will be safe to put them outside fairly soon given the mild temperatures we’ve been having.

Terrible night time photo of the potted up tomatoes

2. Plant the first of the seed potatoes
I planted my potatoes much later last year (in late Oct I think), but had so much fun and success growing them I was keen to plant more and start some earlier.  Mr Good has built me a really impressive cage and will do another three of them over the next two months.  The first lot that went in were King Edwards, but I have two other varieties (Dutch Cream and Pink Fir) to try.  All three are new varieties to me as I couldn’t get the ones I grew last year.  As I did last year, I will build up the cage with compost and mulch as the plants grow and hopefully we’ll have the same level of success.  I’ll definitely have lots of great compost and mulch material to spread on the beds after the potatoes have been dug up.

Last years potato cage, I’ll show of my new and improved one soon.

3. Tidy up the pot plants
The pots are generally looking a bit neglected and needed a tidy up.  The pelargonium and the fuchsia were both begging for attention, pulling off dead growth, trimming them back to encourage denser growth and giving a feed of worm wee.  The spider plants also had the dead flower heads cut off and the nasturtiums which were trying to take over the planet have been tamed somewhat.  I experimented a bit with the nasturtiums, pulling up some plants and replanting them under the apple trees.  I’d love to grow something there to keep the weeds down and add some interest when the trees are bare.

4. Weeding
Thankfully I have been keeping on top of most of the weeding, but there are always areas completely neglected which can get out of control very quickly in Spring.  So over the last weekend I managed to pull most of them up.  Certainly all the food growing areas have been given the once over as did the front yard.  I have a bit still to do between the pavers (I hate pulling these weeds, hard on the hands and almost impossible to get the roots) as well as a little garden bed near the garage door which I have plans for!

5. Attack the front yard
As shameful as it is my front garden (thankfully small) is a disgrace and certainly not one that appears to belong to a gardener.  I’ve written in the past about wanting to do something with it, but got no further than that.  Once or twice a season I get so embarrassed by it that I attempt some form of clean up, that was last Sunday.  Firstly the weeds were pulled, some impressively big one too!  The kangaroo paw flower heads were all dead and drying with spiders living in them, so I gave all the plants a drastic haircut.  Next the lavender was pruned right back, these had died back completely in the middle and looked terrible.  I’m hoping the will grow bushy again, otherwise I’ve just killed them.  Then the dietes were divided and spread out filling in some of the gaps along the boundary and two quite big ones were cut back and dead headed.  That was all the green bin could cope with so I stopped.  I still need to tidy the HUGE purple flax I have outside the bedroom window and give the hebes the same treatment the lavenders got if they can cope with it.  On a positive the forest pansy (which I was afraid I had killed) seems to be coming back to life, I can’t wait to see what it looks like with something on the branches!

Before my attack.

That was a full weekend’s worth of work when you consider quite a lot of it was done while supervising small people.  I got a fright at one point and thought Miss One was chocking on a stone – turns out she was actually laughing hysterically at the dog! – I dropped my tools and bolted, full pelt to the other side of the yard where she a crawled off to, tripped on the potting table and took all the skin off my ankle as well as earning a very impressive bruise. Mind you I didn’t realise I had done any of this until after I discovered that she wasn’t choking at all… then the pain hit!  This is only the beginning of the work required in the garden over the next few months, lots and lots of planting, dealing with bugs, keeping the weeds down, tending seedlings, feeding plants (speaking of which I need to feed the lemon/lime tree again), watering, watering, watering.  But after the winter hiatus it is nice to have some more time with my hands in the dirt.

For Liz’s list hop over here

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4 Responses to Tuesday’s Top Five – Start of Spring Gardening Jobs

  1. fergie51 says:

    Laughed out loud, (sorry)! We all seem to be going through the same extremely enjoyable pain at this time of year. Is that masochistic? Good to read of others experiences.

  2. Yep, it’s beginning to be that easy-to-damage-yourself time of year. Any time of year spent outside always has that potential. Good luck!

  3. I was taught to pour boiling water over weeds around walkways and pavers, it kills them down to the roots. A neighbor told me recently she pours salt over them and then the boiling water. Both seem to work well, let me know if you try either approach and if it works for you.

  4. Nina says:

    I was about to say the same re the boiling water and I saw that Livingsimplyfree beat me to it. It really does work! They die almost before your eyes and it takes no more effort than making a cup of coffee!

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