It Might As Well Rain Until September

My recurring earworm recently has been ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’. I remember it from when it was released in 1962 and I was working as a waiter at Pontins Holiday Camp in Osmington Bay near Weymouth. There were 5 waiters and 53 waitresses, which was an experience!. The song was sung and written by Carole King who became one of those artists who didn’t particularly grate but whose records I didn’t buy either, but one whose songs I became fond of over time – songs you sing along to when they come on the radio. My daughter says I bought her Tapestry for her sixteenth birthday present and she was totally underwhelmed, and she thought I had really bought it for myself – I just cannot remember. Anyway, Jeni and I went to see Carole King when she performed the Living Room tour in a wonderful venue, the Riverstage, in the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane, and very good live she was too – and yes, I did sing along to You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman. And of course she has had a musical, Beautiful, written based on her songs. Mind you, who hasn’t had a musical written based on their songs – Wee Willie Harris maybe.

Anyway, I hope it doesn’t rain until September, although recently it has felt that it would. I’m hopeful that the improving weather this week will quickly dry, and warm, the ground and we’ll be able to get things planted and sown. The first job to do when the ground is a little drier will be to clear the winter weeds and give the soil a light tilling ready for sowing and planting.

In the meantime everything has been sown in modules pretty much the same time as last year. The problem is that with ground as it is the plants can’t be planted out and they have to be stored wherever possible in the greenhouse and polytunnel. The first to be planted out when the soil improves will be celeriac, beetroot, spring onions, and my dahlias.

The only crop really which cannot be sown in modules and transplanted is parsnips. I normally sow around now, mid April, but I can’t this happening this year before the beginning of May.

The early potatoes planted earlier in the year into 15 litre pots are all showing through and will need placing outside soon. I have now also planted my maincrop seed potatoes into large 50 litre pots placed outside.

And if anyone requires seed potatoes there are some still available in the EAGS shop.

Last year I wrote that I was struggling to germinate lettuce seeds, specifically Little Gem. I tried further packets but with little success. This was happening again this year, so I rethought and wondered if it was due to the Clover compost I was using. I thought I’d use a seed compost rather than a multipurpose. However, watching a Muddy Bootz Youtube video he said that lettuce seeds didn’t like too much heat for germination, nothing higher than 15 degrees. So instead of leaving the sown module indoors I placed them in the greenhouse. And yes, much better germination. Problem is , I don’t know if that is because of the compost or the lower heat. I suspect a mixture of both. I must admit I have been becoming more and more sceptical of Clover compost recently, and I’m pleased that the EAGS shop is changing soon.

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