There is something hugely satisfyng about listening to rain coming down after a good planting day. Today (and tomorrow) are roots and perennials planting days, and I have got a bit carried away, as I tend to do.
I went out intending just to plant out the seedlings of the staple root crops – beetroot, carrot, onions, and parsnips – and get another round of them in. (Have a look at last month’s post for my method of starting them off in the shadehouse). And then I just kept going. And now as I sit at the computer I can hear it all being beautifully watered in.
It’s the right season for planting shallots. I forgot to save some for replanting and had to buy new bulbs this year. I put them in a couple of small patches, planted with just the tip of the bulb showing. From mid-spring onwards I’ll be able to cut the tops as green spring onion, and from late spring I will be able to harvest the mild, sweet bulbs.
But I probably should have waited until the next planting break to plant globe artichokes and asparagus, to divide up the horseradish, to plant out the jerusalem artichokes and divide up the thyme, sage, oregano, and tarragon.
It is past the solstice so the days are getting longer, but as yet only by seconds a day. July 31st will be Imbolc – Candlemas – which marks the point when the days begin to lengthen at an exponential rate. It will still be deep in the coldest part of the year, but it will be a whole heap sunnier. The promise of spring and long warm days to come will suddenly start to seem real.
A smart and experienced gardener would wait until then. But as I listen to the rain tonight, I’m glad I’m not that smart.