2017 Harvest

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pruning orchard

I've started with this years orchard pruning and first thing I have to say is that I have no idea what I'm doing. I've never done this and this is a big challenge for me.Every year my dad pruned trees but since my dad can't do it this year he showed me what to do and I'll prune them.
Since last year our apples were fruitless there is a lot of water sprouts/suckers on every tree so I decided to cut all them off and then prune the rest of the branches.

Another thing that bothered me while pruning was the fact that I'm too short for everything. Our trees are only 2,5 meters tall but even with this height I can reach all branches with normal shears.
I had to use shears that are on tall metal stick and have rope for cutting. This injured skin on my hands so now they are all sore.

I managed to clean all the suckers and now all I have to do is to shorten the remaining branches. There is a lot of waste  from pruning.

Orchard is wet and slippery but also full of flowers.

and weird mushrooms.

 Last fall I've planted corn salad and some lettuce and this is the first time I managed to get in the garden to check it out.

I've also planted some spinach and here it is...

 Oh wait..there is nothing there! Bugs did it again. I've sown 2 whole bags and there is nothing. They ate everything.
If they ate everything during the winter I'm afraid to think what they'll do during the summer.
I think this will be a buggy year.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sowing peppers

Sowing season is here!!
After a long and boring break it's finally the end of the February and it's time for sowing.
I've started with my pepper seeds. I've sowed 20 seeds of Sorok sari bell pepper.

50 seeds of "Botinečka žuta" pepper

20 seeds of hot chili peppers , 20 seeds of sweet chili peppers and 20 seeds of Red basket of fire

All my containers will now live on window shelves that we have built for seedlings a few years ago.

To place all containers on shelves I had to remove some of my indoor plants and place them outside.
Last year we planted Coleus in our garden but since it can't survive our winter we replanted some of them in flower pot and  kept it inside the house. It grew really tall, I think it was because of the lack of light but it's still alive. I've cut it a few times over the winter to keep it small and to trigger more leaves.
It's still alive and we'll see how it will react to fresh air.

We've also replanted 3 mini roses. Actually it was one rose that my mum got for her birthday but it had 3 roses inside so we separated them and we hope that all of them will survive and grow in 3 mini rose bushes.

Since the snow is gone I've got the chance to tend my front yard flower bed. The snow did some damage on my lavender bush. 

 So I had to cut almost all of it and tie it till it grows back and forms a flower ball again.

 There is even more damage on my sage bush. Every branch is broken and damaged.

I've had to cut all the branches all the way. Now all I can do is hope it will grow back to being a beautiful bush like it was last summer.

If the nice weather continues I'll start my orchard pruning...well I'll only prune branches that I can reach and my dad will do the rest but still can't wait to roll down the garden again.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Preparing for sowing

Weather is still a mess. It's still raining and by now half of the country is flooded. Situations like this are probably the only ones when I'm happy we live on the hill. We can't get to the city when there is snow on the roads, we don't have public transportation cause the hill is too steep, walking and gardening is hard and painful for our knees, but at least when there are floods all around we are safe... if we don't get landslides.

Like I said few days ago my pot soil arrived.
Last years results with seedlings were great, sure the heat and bugs did some damage on them when I replanted them to the garden but while they were growing in pots they were strong and healthy. So that's why we decided to get Klasmann pot soil again.

Another reason for purchasing this soil is because it's the only soil for vegetables that we can find in our country. There are some no-name soils for flowers but their quality is so bad that we had to add manure to produce seedlings. Even with manure seedlings were small and needed a lot of time to recuperate from replanting.
Gardeners that produce vegetables for markets have a few brands of soil but I can't get them because I really don't need tons of soil and they don't have packages for domestic use.

I've got most of my vegetable seeds. I'm still waiting for few new varieties of tomatoes, beets and flowers but this is because this varieties can't be bought is stores so I'm buying them from professional farmers. They sell small packages of seeds online. All my varieties of tomatoes came from them. I buy 10 or 15 seeds of tomatoes (they are usually around 1€) and then collect seeds from fruits for next year.

From the seeds I could find in stores I've got Dill
                                                 Cabbage Glora di Enkhuizen
                                                 Beet Cylindra
                                                 Snapdragons multicolor

Peas American Wonder( I still need to buy Progress peas)
Bush beans- Berggold
                    Merville de piemonte (Piedmonte wonder)

Peppers - tomato pepper Botinečka žuta ( Botinec yellow)
             - bell pepper Soroksari
Cucumbers - Levina F1 - pickling cucumbers
                     Southern Delight
Flakee 2 carrot
and Bardowicker parsley

(you can see what happens when you take photos of seeds instead of a walk with Nero)

I think I'll start sowing my peppers on Monday. Peppers need more days to give fruits(110days) so I'll plant them earlier that the rest of my vegetables.
Can't wait.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Garden planing

It's been raining whole day and it's the best time to continue this years garden planing. Since I change vegetable beds every year I had to plan beds arrangement for this year.
I have lots of obstacles in planing. Part of the garden is always in shade and part of the garden has 10 hours of sun and temperatures over 35°C.
So my plan for this year is similar to last years.

The only big change is that vegetables that were on upper part of the garden are now on lower part, and lower are on the upper part. I'm planing to protect my peppers from the wind with tomatoes on each side and with millet to give them shade.
Also I'm not planting pole beans anymore, well actually I am but only on my fence. I will not buy new seeds. I have some old seeds that I will try to grow on the fence. If they grow great, if not no damage.. I'll plant lots of bush beans and kidney beans(Borlotto).
Another thing that I will do differently is that I'll plant cabbages, kale and lettuce seedlings on parts of beds that are free and not leave whole bed for them.
Directly sown cabbages, kale and lettuce aren't giving any results anymore. Bugs eat my seeds before they get the chance to germinate so I will plant seedlings instead of seeds.  I'll also try to grow some leek from seedlings, and double the amount of zucchini seedlings.

This year I decided to sow only annual flowers. I have enough perennials and for now I don't plan to plant them. I'll just directly sow :Marigold, Calendula, common Morning glory, Zinnia, Aster, Sweet William catchfly, Ageratum, Cleome, Snapdragons and Mexican aster.

I've also ordered mix of annual vine flowers that I plan to use for shade in my front yard.

All the seeds that I've ordered should come this week and tomorrow I'll get my seed compost.
Gardening season is warming up :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Winter damage

After yesterday's walk, today I decided to take a walk to the creek under our house. I wanted to see how it looks in the winter. Nero was happy for the chance to chase all the cats that walk around our garden.

We went down the forest next to my house. The ground is very steep so we had to be extra careful to get to the creek.

Under our house the amount of water was the same as always.

By the creek I found some alpine squills  and hellebores

We wanted to take a walk by the creek but this was impossible. Water flooded the ground and it was impossible to get thorough. So we decided to turn back.

Nero didn't mind walking in water.

I didn't want to get my feet all wet and I decided to take a walk down the path that leads to the road. There was lots of broken branches on the path.

But this was nothing like the damage we encountered in next forest. I wanted to take some photos of the river we have a few miles from our house, and to get to this river we had to walk through one big forest.
I don't like walking in this forest cause it's really big and it's easy to get lost in it.

When I walk here I always follow one big path till I get to the river and take the same way home. But there was something that got us off the path. Nero found a big tree that got ripped out the ground

 And while falling this tree broke in half another tree.

I thought this would be the biggest damage I will see but then we got to the river.
We couldn't get close cause there was a landslide next to the river. There is a lot of broken and ripped trees. I really didn't want to risk falling inside the canal so after taking some photos we turned back and went home.

I thought I would take more beautiful photos like the ones yesterday but today instead of nature beauty I got a sight of what happens when nature gets mad.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hidden beauty

Today we had a first sunny day in weeks so I decided to use it and take a walk with Nero. We started our usual tour on nearby meadows.

I wanted to take photos of primroses on the nearby meadows.

But I heard a strange noise, a babbling sound that was coming from the forest. I know that we have a little creek in the forest but it never makes such noise so I  decided to investigate. Nero was happy I decided to take a longer walk so went running up and down the forest.

We went down the big hill to the place where I usually pick mushrooms. And I couldn't believe my eyes. The path we used to get to the basin is filled with water. There is a small creek in the middle of the path.

I decided to walk further to see it better and the sight was just amazing.

There are even small waterfalls.

The small creek now looks like little river.

Along the creek there are snowdrops and hellebores

With all the beauty there was another thing that surprised me. A part of the hill slided down from all the rain and took together a bunch of trees. The good thing is that this happened when there are no mushroom pickers so nobody got hurt.

It is just amazing how few weeks of snow and rain change once dry and desolate forest into magic water garden.

I think tomorrow I'll take a walk to the other creek, the one we have under our house. I just can't wait to see what surprises I'll find there.