After six days away on the boat, during stinking hot weather I expected to come back to a struggling veggie patch. Instead I was greeted by a rather reasonable harvest, which was a lovely surprise. What wasn't such a lovely surprise was the way the garden started to show me the signs of neglect over the next few days of me being home. Unless you have a self watering veggie garden it needs your attention daily, even if it is just a two minute check up to see if the watering system needs to be turned on for ten minutes, or if last nights rain was sufficient.
For the next few days I watered, fertilised, weeded (read, pull out the mint that I let spread as a ground cover-in hindsight I will never plant mint in a garden bed again) and mulched the garden, until I thought it was ready for some new seeds to be planted. So on the 11th January, whilst Lara slept, I got planting; black beauty zucchini, cucumber, beetroot, bean, pea and lettuce seeds were all sewn. Since it looked and felt like it was going to rain that evening I didn't bother wasting water to water them in, and just waited for mother nature to do her bit. That she did, and the next days was disgustingly hot with a light shower that night so I assumed that the veggie garden was relatively happy whilst I was dying from heat exhaustion on the lounge in the air conditioned house, too scared to venture out in to the sun as opening the back door was enough of a shock. Then yesterday I forced myself outside (to look for the neighbours' escaped rabbit-no sightings) and was utterly shocked by how much the garden had dried out and was struggling, so I've got my fingers and toes crossed that the seeds I'd sewn at the beginning of the week will forgive me for the neglect and sprout in the next few days, because we need food. The two cucumber plants gave up on me, the eggplant whilst still hanging around (she is much more upright this morning) isn't feeling up to putting out, and the beans have slowed down. That said, our strawberries and tomatoes are keeping Lara and I very happy....even if our clothes are covered in exploded tomato seeds from Lara trying to bite off more than she can chew.
And this morning I have an escaped chicken running around the veggie garden....I don't want to go and see if she has upset my seeds. Ggggrrrrr.