Monday, September 19, 2005

Of cabbages and things

How not to prepare brassicas for overwintering:

(i) Make sure you're not in when the Dobies plug plants arrive, so the friendly helpful people in the bookies downstairs take them in for you and keep them for a couple of days until they see you.

(ii) Upon eventual receipt of plug plants, leave them sitting in box for two days because work's really busy and you keep turning up late and thus staying late. Notice on Thursday evening that the box says 'Open Immediately'. Bugger.

(iii) Open box.

(iv) At least 24 hours after (iii), try to close box in order to shove into rucksack. Turn it sideways so it fits. Ish. Take plants up to plot. Realise that, at most, you have enough beds prepared for two-fifths of plug plants. Also notice that they're turning yellow. Muse aloud that yellow is probably not the colour they ought to be. Get strange looks.

(v) Spend the whole of Saturday digging frantically and trying to hoik out perennial roots. Make sure you don't allow enough time for this, as there's nothing like a half-arsed job to ensure that you get to repeat it all ad nauseum on a weekly basis. Shove plug plants in. Take care to plant them in such a way that any future rotations of vegetables will require the advice of a chess grandmaster. Fill shoes full of mud (not necessary, but you do get bonus points).

(vi) Return Sunday, much later than planned, to find plants already nibbled, yellowing, and in some cases broken off at stems. Decide, with no time nor forward planning, to string netting across cauliflowerlings to protect them. Choose piece of netting that's far too small. End up with layer of netting just the right size for birds to rest themselves while leaning through holes and helping themselves. Run out of time so that'll have to do. Trip over netting, fall in mud, narrowly missing leeklings. Curse (this should be taking place at regular intervals). Trip over bike, causing chain to come off and necessitating a light covering of bicycle oil to go with mud. Curse some more. Cycle home like lunatic to get washed and changed for work.

On the upside my spuds have finally come up. Things seem to grow as long as I leave them the hell alone. Odd.


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