The Idiot Gardener

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building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

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vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

Death, digging and one big dozy bastard!

Death has touched me (ooh err Missus) with its icy hand, and a very icy hand it was too. Being an idiot, I read about garlic. Apparently, it does not mind the cold, not one bit, and it overwinters well. Yeah? Is that the case? I figured that it would be some indestructible superveg that scoffed at the very worst nature could chuck at it, so I bought some and got it planted in some empty pots, late last year. The unseasonably warm weather at the time meant it took off like a scalded cat tied to a rocket, and everything was good on the garlic front.

It got cold, but I left the garlic out, because it likes that kind of thing. Then it snowed, and the garlic took the snow as if it was a feather tickling its green stalks. Then the ground froze solid for a few weeks. I didn’t care. After all, garlic can take that, can’t it?

The shoots went a bit brown, so I snipped off the brown bits. I waited for new growth … and I waited … and waited. I waited so long I got tired of waiting and decided to investigate. I touched one of the stems, gently, and it fell over. I touched another, and then it dawned on me. These weren’t connected to anything. They had rotted off.

Out of 20 plants I have around 5 left, and the jury is out on whether they’ll make it. So, that’s Death covered; now on to digging.


Plot 9 is advancing, and I have now dug over half of the total space. Also, the path pattern no longer looks like a crucifix, so maybe The Baby Jesus will get off my case for a bit. I am now curtailing digging to break up the soil, and have acquired some Wolf tools for this purpose after hearing rave reviews from a few folks. I’ll post about how I fail to achieve my goals, break the tools and abuse the staff at Wolf when the inevitable happens!

I need to get a few beds to a fine tilth for the spuds on Good Friday – obviously any merit I’ve gained with TBJ by not having a crucifix path (or the Fuck path) will be erroded when I make the obvious jokes later this week. I also need to get my onions in (yeah, you think it’s too late, but so what?).

Finally, the big dozy bastard … well, it is me! Before I went to Thailand (did I tell you I’d been away?) I had two rhubard crowns which were in the shed. I figured I’d best plant them out so they could enjoy the cold snap to break their dormancy. However, the ground was frozen so I stuck them in a tin bath with some compost and left the country.

One crown has pushed forth red stalks and green leaves, and rhubarb is definitely happening. The other has remained brown and stick-like and not growing. I’ve watered them, and watched over them, and still one grew but the other did not. Sensing the work of TBJ again (he won’t let these things drop) I got down on my knees and … took a closer look. One looked like a rhubard plant, albeit a little one. The other looked like roots?

Yes, really, I could not make this shit up; I have planted one of my crowns upside down, and then not spotted that fact for six weeks! It has now be turned the right way up, and I’ll report any future developments!

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10 thoughts on “Death, digging and one big dozy bastard!

  1. John Gray

    I know you are a dozy bastard, but could I ask if you know if there is a thriving rabbit and pigeon population around the rapidly developing ( and impressive) plot?

  2. The Idiot Gardener

    Hi John; I haven’t seen any signs of rabbits (such as rabbits, rabbit holes, rabbit pooh or rabbit jackets and shoes), and I’ve seen plenty of crows but no pigeons. However, I have seen plenty of birds of prey. I don’t know enough to recognise them, but one chap who claims to know about these thinks they’re Common Buzzards (although it is Surrey so they might be Middle Class Buzzards).

  3. 5olly

    I’ve overwintered my garlic this year and was a bit concerned a few months ago when the leaves went a bit brown, but I shrugged it off. On closer inspection this weekend I realised they have a fungal infection. I’ve applied Canesten but I’m expecting a rubbish crop now. 🙁

    I won’t say where I got the Canesten from.

  4. Liz

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Well I’ve never planted rhubarb upside down, did the Ausies like their pressie? Thanks for the laugh. I did once plant carrots and radishes came up.

  5. Aimee

    Every time I try to overwinter garlic it rots, just like yours did. This year I planted in the early, early spring and I’ll see if I get anything harvestable by late summer.

  6. Hippo

    Ah, Middle Class Buzzards, social climbers. You can tell so easily, they dive in and gorge their food.

    I wonder if Rhubarb would grow here?… Ages since I have enjoiyed that tart taste.

  7. Nutty Gnome

    I still haven’t planted my garlic..or my onions…or very much else yet this year! But I will and it’ll grow anyway 🙂

    I planted Purple sprouting broccoli last year – out of a brand new Morgan and Thompson packet, and got sprouts!

    Good luck with the allotmenteering

  8. ~Gardener on Sherlock Street

    Was the garlic a softneck or hardneck variety? Hardneck handles cold. I don’t know about softneck which is what one usually finds in the grocery stores here.
    As for the rhubbarb. I don’t like it so plant it any way you want. Ha.


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