Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Waiting for better days

 Snow, ice, and low temperatures. This is the best description of January in Central Croatia. Although the past two winters have been milder than what we're used to, we're still getting temperatures below 0°C and snow. We had a snow day 10 days ago and even though the amount of snow was minor my garden is still completely covered. The garden usually stays this way until the end of February and this is the main reason why my season is short and there is no gardening done until March. 

So what do we do during January? Mostly planning and waiting for warmer days. I've already sown peppers and some flowers. My Dalia seedlings are already growing and I'm hoping the rest of the seedlings will start showing up soon.

I've also done some more planning and decided what tomato varieties I'll sow this year. I'll be sowing 20 tomato varieties. Some of them will be balcony varieties and some will stay in containers as yard tomatoes. With the tomatoes, I'll be sowing some early cabbages and new flower varieties. 

This year, besides Srećko, I have new great help in planing my garden. Recently I found "The flower expert" book by D.G. Hessayon in a used book store. An excellent little book that contains almost every flower variety I can grow in my garden. I bought many books recently, dozen of them are gardening books with plant indexes and none have so many varieties. It contains the most information you need when planning where to plant a flower. I usually search for this information online, but many times I have to open many different sites before finding some common information like height, frost sensitivity, and sun preferences. Here I have everything in one place and I love it.

I still have lots of planning to do, from March till May, which I'll do in the next couple of weeks. It's the only gardening that I can do. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

new season always starts with peppers

 Although it's still January I decided to start with my seedling sowing. Last year I started in February, but this year due to the situation at home I won't be able to do my seedling sowing in the heated basement as I did last year. I just can't spend hours in the basement because I can't hear what's going on in the house and with my mum. So I decided to keep all the seedlings in the house this year. The house is heated to 23°C which will be the ok temperature for germination, and since we don't have enough big windows for all my seedlings, my hubby made a LED growing light corner where we'll keep the lights on during the day to give the seedlings ideal conditions.

Last year I bought some new seedlings trays and decided to sow lots of seeds in bigger holes. When they grow big enough I'll transplant them to the individual holes. I won't be sowing too many bell(sweet) peppers, I'll buy the seedlings this year. Instead, I decided to sow lots of chili peppers. We eat very spicy food and I need lots of them. 

My garden has been lacking flowers, especially biannual and perennials, which don't especially like my garden conditions. The biannual ones never self-seed so after a year or two I'm left without them. This is why I decided to sow lots of flowers this year. This year whey will probably be sown in pots to collect as many seeds as possible and next year I'll make big flowerbeds. 

Chili peppers and some of the flowers need a long time to germinate and grow so past Sunday I decided it was a good time to start with the sowing.  I've sown 15 pepper varieties, 5 strawberries, and 20 flower varieties. I'm aware that some of them won't germinate since there is only one professional seed pack, but even if I get 1/3 of the seeds to germinate I'll have enough for my garden and yard barrels. 

Also, this year is the first time in many years that I sterilized the substrate. Usually, I didn't bother doing this, I buy professional substrate and I never had any problems with it up to the last 2 bags I bought. My seedlings were severely affected by the Pythium root rot. The only way this could happen was with the infected soil so just to be on the safe side I decided to sterilize the soil. I was planning to sterilize it in the oven, but I found a bottle of Genox Agro disinfectant at home, and since this disinfectant can be used both on seeds and soil and without a waiting period I just used it while I was sowing. 

Now all that is left is to wait for the seedlings to grow.