You’ll get more done by doing things at the wrong time, than you get done by not doing things at all.
I’m refering to gardening but the same could be applied to saving for retirement or changing jobs. There are lots of rules about when you should do what. Sometimes doing things later or earlier means they turn out better, or at least, not much worse. The main thing seems to be to try it and see, rather than not to bother at all.
If you are planting things at the ‘wrong’ time, they’ll appreciate some protection. Here are a few ideas I use to keep off the worst of the weather and the pests. Don’t forget to water if your protection keeps out the rain.
Old-fashioned and used more in colder climates, but very effective. My cold frame doubles as my propagator when I use a heat-mat under my seeds in spring. You need to watch things don’t get too hot on a sunny day. You can pick up old windows very cheaply at building recyclers. The window on my frame is hinged to timber sides but you could rest it on a frame of sleepers, bricks or even a polystyrene crate if you don’t have access to a carpentry wizard.
Will keep dogs and cats at bay too. Cover with bird-netting to protect strawberries and seedlings from birds or finer mesh to keep out most butterflies from your brassicas. Builders often have pieces of concrete reinforcing mesh going spare. If you buy it, take some bolt-cutters with you so you can chop up the sheet on site and fit it in your car. Leave spikes on the bottom to push into the ground. I find L-shaped pieces work best as they have greater structural stability. Use the lighter-weight mesh if you have a choice.
I’ve experimented with a number of home-made cloches from corrugated plastic to individual plastic bottles and sheets of polythene. Even a translucent carrier bag can keep the worst of the wind away. More concrete-reinforcing mesh covered with chicken wire or windbreak keeps birds and sun away from newly planted seedlings.
Covering freshly sown seeds is vital in our garden. It keeps off the birds and keeps the soil moist. I weight down frost cloth over the beds. You don’t need to move it when you water, but keep an eye out for germination and remove it when the first seedlings appear. You might still need to keep the birds off until the plants are bigger.
Ours is a Morrifield and even unheated means we can grow more tender crops in Wellington. Great for raising seedlings and winter salads.