It's a bit cold here today, but last Saturday definitely felt like the first day of summer! The garden was giving us that "water us, water us!" look and it was too hot to pull weeds out without wearing a hat. And the paving stones out the back heated up in the sun and were hot enough to burn my bare feet when I went outside to grab some herbs for the pizza.
Summer is a great time of year - long hot days, trips to the beach or the river, barbies in the back yard, tons of ripe tomatoes, zillions of zucchini, cartloads of cucumbers.....
Now's a good time to have a think about where you'll be for your summer holiday. Most keen gardeners end up a bit conflicted. "What? - go away on holiday just when the tomatoes are ripe? And what about the zucchini - they'd be bigger than the house by the time we got home!" But unless you are happy to stay home right through the summer, then you need a plan for the garden that you are leaving behind.
An automatic watering system or an obliging neighbour/family member willing to water your garden could stop you coming home to tragedy after a couple of weeks of hot weather. But when you plan your summer holiday you can also plan to make sure you don't have to do without your garden.
If you are lucky enough to have a bach, doing some sowing for summer harvesting is a good plan. If you plant mesclun or salad greens now, you will have them ready for Christmas at the bach. You could also do some wild herb sowing - just scatter the seed in odd corners of the garden and you can enjoy adding heaps of flavour to your summer meals with some home grown herbs. And sowing some beans or transplanting some cucumber and tomato seedlings over at the bach is a great idea right now. Or sow wildflowers to enjoy later in summer.
Another way to make sure that you don't have to be without fresh produce in summer is to take your garden with you. You can make a herb or salad green basket - just line it with plastic (with drainage holes poked into the plastic), fill with potting mix and sow or transplant your favourite herbs or salad greens into the basket.
Keep watered until you are ready to take it away on holiday with you. These also make absolutely lovely Christmas presents!
Microgreens are also a great holiday idea - since they are so quick to grow, you could even wait until you arrive at your destination before sowing them!
Whatever you decide to do for summer, we hope you enjoy your garden - I'm looking forward to a glut of tomatoes but of course with gardening there are no guarantees, so keep your fingers crossed for me!