When Summer Doesn’t Come, Make A Plan B

outside fireTo cheer myself up last week, I lit the bonfire while I gardened. It was such a gloomy day. It was mid summer, and I was gardening in jeans. The fire lifted my spirits.

For those of us out west and south, this is not a normal February in the garden. Normally we’d be drowning in zucchini and tomato – as we speak I’m harvesting but a few a week. Normally we’d have stopped mowing by now – the grass continues on furiously. Normally I’d be spraying Neem regularly to combat the shields in the Raspberries – but there are none. There are infact next to no pests.

Interesting times, aye.

It’s easy to feel blue about whats not happening, but lets check out what is. Our tanks are full. As are our plates – cucumbers, basil and beans from the greenhouse; raspberries and plums for Africa; root crops and leafy greens flourish, as do the compost heaps.

Jan harvest

Adapting is the thing to do here. If the weather’s not normal, don’t do what you’d normally do! Make a plan B.

Whatever you do, don’t stop gardening just because a few crops didn’t flourish – change it up and keep going! Those replacement crops are still best food.

My Plan B’s

  • December’s dwarf beans went in the greenhouse and I’ve only just sown outside ones a few weeks ago.
  • I’ve kept sowing leafy greens and root crops because that’s what went with the weather.
  • I planted zucchini and squash in big mounds to lift them out of the wet.
  • I left kumara under the cloche for what seemed like an eternity.
  • I left off planting my outside tomatoes till late December and am hoping hard the sun comes out to play this month to turn all those gorgeous green globes red. If not, no mind – it’s beetroot relish instead of tomato and plum sauce instead of tomato, and I’ll be inviting you all round for my favourite of all – fried green tomatoes.

Fingers crossed I get enough tomatoes for passata, because no matter how much imagining I do, I cannot dream up a plan b for it.

Yours in the earth,