It's raining again. Looking at the weather forecast it will be overcast and wet until the end of the week, so instead of out working in my garden I'm sitting in front of my computer typing this.
It's my second year of gardening since I retired and I've been a lot more ambitious this year than last; my expectations are higher and my disappointments more acute. Last year my attitude was, well I tried, I'll find out what I did wrong and avoid repeating the problem next year. This year I'm trying to pretend I know what I'm doing.
Irregular watering in the greenhouse: no problem switch to capillary matting. It seems to be working well apart from the slight problem of a scary looking orange fungal growth appearing on one of the mats.
Panic. What is it? Can't be sure but let's get rid of it.
So we move the plants. Phew! It doesn't seem to have infected them and it's only on the exposed parts of the mat not on or under the pots. Must be a good sign, yes? No? Maybe the plants will be OK fingers crossed. But still, we'd better remove the infected mat. Be thorough: clean everything it's touched with Jeyes fluid - diluted and applied as advised on the can; rinse and dry then lay out new matting, soak mat and replace the plants. There good as new.
But can we save the old mat? We put it to soak in solution of the Jeyes fluid. We'll leave it overnight and check again tomorrow - recycle or re-use whenever possible!
Later that night I read that Jeyes fluid, which I originally purchased to clean my pots and wash down my greenhouse, is very bad for the environment. Particularly insects and fish if it gets into the water course - but also cats, I read it can be fatal for cats, even absorbed through the skin. Is this true? I have four cats.
Panic again - what happens if one of the cats accidentally falls into the trough where I'm soaking my mat overnight. I feel bad enough using plastic now I know about the micro-particles and the fish. Cutting down on meat consumption and wearing clothes I owned as a teenager to avoid buying new ones even though I'm now a retired pensioner don't seem enough to save the planet. Now I might be poisoning my own land and putting my cats at risk with Jeyes fluid. Arrrgh! Can't do right for doing wrong.
Now I'm stuck indoors. The infected mat is still soaking away in the deadly liquid, but now with a lid over the trough so at least the cats will be safe.
I'm hoping the gloomy mood will lift and everything will seem better when the sun comes out again. In the meantime it's good weather for the grass ... and weeds ... and possibly orange mold.