Procrastinations in the strawberry bed

under mirabellesI always found that when confronted with a difficult writing project twas always best to clean the office first.   Anything to put off the actual task of sitting down and getting that first paragraph right.

And now I find it’s the same with gardening. I have written on my to do list Weed Strawberries since last October.   Every new list the first task to be inked in is weed the strawberries. And I have been putting it off until now.   Why I’m still putting it off. Preferring to size pictures, drink tea, call Sydney, eat slightly stale hot cross buns… anything but get stuck into the strawberries. file daffs early april

The reason is that getting those lusty weeds out from under the fabric is going to be hard.   Hard on fingers, nails, patience and the roots of the extant strawberries.

When they are fighting for space the weeds seem very adept at wrapping themselves around the roots and seeking the light.   I fear I may lose some plants if I’m to achieve the desired effect.   But it’s Wednesday, it’s overcast, and I have a day to achieve it.

But before I head out; here as some of the fruits of this morning’s procrastinations.   First up was to add a bit more of my mighty horse compost mulch around the plants in the shade garden.   It all looks rather starkly dark now. But in dry weather the mulch will probably disappear into a background of weeds, bark chips and dusty foliage. But it’s a start. mulched shade garden

I finished the last three Aquilegias (inspired by seeing the height and growth of Andrew’s ones in his shady garden area). And then decided to circle the strawberry bed by working nearby and thus becoming inspired.

broad beansFirst up the broad beans. At the moment they are under protective cloches; but I do wonder if the cloches are needed. I haven’t had a sighting (or a footstep sighting) of Daisy since mid winter.   And have even raked the soon to be brassica bed just to see if it will lure her in.   She seems to like a freshly raked bit of earth to frolic about in.   Not that I want her to return mind; but it is odd not to have the enemy about.

The only enemy of the broad beans was the cold. I did sow about thirty seeds in the late autumn to see if they would get an early start for the season.   But by my reckoning, only about four came up.   Not good odds.

The ones I sowed in late February all came up, happily, so I will have a crop.   But I did add a dozen more today just to increase the odds.broad beans 1

weeded lettuceNext to the broad beans is a cloche of lettuce. I don’t have the heart to grub them out because they have survived the whole winter unscathed. They taste bitter and vile; but I am keeping them as a sort of mascot for the vegetable garden.   The little lettuces in the potting shed are putting on growth and will replace these hoary old beasts, but not until next month.

And ooh look, it’s raining. Can’t possibly go out into the strawberry bed now.   Shall have an early lunch and try and catch up on this blog instead.