2017 Harvest

Friday, March 28, 2014

Seedlings progress

This week has been really windy and cold. We jumped from 30°C to 5°C with occasional rain. Good thing about this weather is the garden soil is finally wet and I was able to sow my peas, carrots, parsley and onions.  Bad thing is that it's just too cold for my seedlings. That's why we had to hide all the seedlings inside the house and make little improvised greenhouses to keep seedlings from cold and wind.

Seedlings are progressing well. They are getting bigger every day. Soon I'll need more room for all the seedlings and if the weather doesn't get better I have no idea where will place all our pots.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Orchard newbies

Yesterday we bought two new members for our orchard family. 2 years old American blueberry "Bluecrop" and one year old apricot Aurora.
Bluecrop blueberry is large bush blueberry with big sour fruits that ripen in mid July. It like sunny places and tolerates drought. It's highly resistant to diseases and bugs. Apricot Aurora is early variety with medium size yellow fruits.

Since there was an announcement of possible strong wind and rain for next few days and my apricot is without container I decided to plant my new fruits today.

First I decided to plant my blueberry. It needs smaller hole so it was easier to plant it. Also I had help in digging.

After he finished digging my helper decided to rest inside his work. I had to wait with planting until his highness decided his break was over. Of course I forgot to take photo of my blueberry but you can see it behind my little beast.

I've planted my blueberry and now we can hope it will like it's new home.

My apricot is huge for one year old tree so I had to dig a big hole.
 It felt like digging a grave. By the time I finished with it I wanted to lay inside it and die.

Again I forgot to take photo after planting, actually I was distracted with all the pretty flowers in my orchard.

With this I finished all the work for now. Now we are waiting for the rain to start sowing.
I really need a break from all the work. Lets hope the rain will come soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lovage..or maybe not

Last few days I have a feeling we jumped from winter to summer. Average temperatures for March in my village are around 8°C and yesterday:

Yes that's 34°C. Ok it's the temperature in front of my house where it's sunny whole day, but lets face it nobody lives 2 meters off the ground and in the shade where official temperatures are measured.
 I hate this temperature jump. I can't adjust to it, but my seedlings love it. Everyday I take my pepper seedlings for sunbathing and they seem to like it very much.

This heat dried our steep path to my future herb bed and I was shoked when I went to check it out.
Last spring I planted mint, spinach tree and lovage.

Mint and spinach tree are still underground and haven't started growing back but instead of lovage I found this.

I was really surprised since I know Lovage looks a lot like celery and this little shrub looks nothing like it. I've spent minutes trying to figure out what happened, but I just couldn't. I planted seedling that I got from lovage seeds, with leaves that looked like celery, smelled like celery and even had little stick with lovage written on it.
Then how did I get a plant that doesn't look, smell or have leaves like Lovage.

After meditating, consulting books and google I figured that this is Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). Yes I did sow it last spring, but I planted it on other side of the garden and not in my herb garden. 
So how did it get there? I have no idea. 
And if this is Feverfew and not Lovage, then where is my lovage plant? I searched my whole garden and didn't find anything.
 I sowed Lovage again to see if this one will also disappear.
I guess I have little garden dwarfs that rearrange my plants. It's the only reasonable answer to this mystery.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

First flowers and harvest

 Past few days have been busy. I've been cleaning our compost pit. We haven't been cleaning it for 5 years and now it was the time to clean it. I was really surprised by the amount of compost I found inside. Almost everything turned to compost. Only thing that was left were tomato plants from last year.

I've got 300 liters of great compost. The bad thing about cleaning this pit was that I had to drag bags of compost up the hill. I need this compost for my seedlings and for this I had to take it to the basement.

 If only my soil was as good as compost. Garden is a mess. We had few weeks of really strong wind that dried out all the soil. Now I have a crust on top of the soil that is almost impossible to break.

I had to dig really hard to dig my lettuce. I had to thin out all the lettuce seedlings and because of the crust I couldn't do it like I wanted top. The result was- my first harvest.

I tore too many lettuce leaves and I felt bad about throwing them away so I collected them.
After all the cleaning I'm left with 4 rows of good seedlings. I hope they will continue growing so I'll have more harvests soon.

My future lettuce seedlings are also looking great. I took them out of the greenhouse and now I just have to wait till they grow enough to replant them to the garden.

Today I also noticed that my tomato seedlings are starting to grow. Yesterday pots were still empty and today little green seedlings are showing.

I had to sow 20 pots more of tomatoes for our neighbor. That is total of 240 tomatoes sown this year.

We had few days of extremely warm weather and it seems that my garden flowers love it. In just few days my garden woke up and there are more flowers every day.



 Vinca major (Periwinkle)

I still have to clean up part of the yard and then enjoy sowing and planting. Well I will enjoy it if we get one decent rain that will soften the soil.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No more room

Past two days I've spent cleaning and pruning our orchard. I think I finally figured out how to prune apples and did a good job.

I've also pruned red currants



and lilac

I've also cleaned all the leaves, now all I have to do is paint the trees but I don't have any paint so I'll have to get some before painting.

While I was in the orchard I couldn't resist and I just had to do some work in the garden.
When you have a garden on the hill and deep dig your garden every year, then you also have to make new paths every year. I have to make 3 big paths for all the water that could fall during gardening season, and other paths are just to know where my beds will be.

We have such nice and warm weather that I could start sowing in garden right now, but I'm scared that there will be more bad weather with low temperatures so I'll wait 2 weeks more before sowing peas and carrots.

But that doesn't mean that I don't have anything to sow. I have plenty of work with my future seedlings.
I've got my second bag of Klasmann and I was able to start sowing again.
Today I've spent 4 hours sowing everything I had to sow this week.

I had planed 70 more seedlings of tomatoes, so today I wanted to sow 35 pots(every pot 2 seeds) of tomatoes, but I've got an order of 50 seedlings from my aunt so I've had to plant 25 pots extra.
I even had to get one more table to keep all the things I need for planting.

25 Pots of tomatoes and nosy Nero

When I finished with tomatoes for family I started sowing seeds for my garden.
I've sown: Oxheart tomato(10s), Marmande (10s), Rio grande (10s), Giant Belgium (10s), Costoluto (8s), Tlacolula (4s) Don Juan (8s) and Campbell (12s)

With this tomatoes my second greenhouse is also full. Actually everything is full of pots. House is filled with pepper pots, greenhouses have tomato, cabbage and lettuce pots

 one basement is filled with flower pots and furnace basement is filled with plants that need high temperatures to germinate.
I don't have any room for new pots. But still I couldn't help myself and I just had to plant pots with celery, millet, corn, sunflowers, zucchinis and camomile.

I still haven't decided where to store this pots so I left them in furnace basement till I make room for them somewhere.

With all this seeds I had problems marking every pot. Usually I had a writable tape that I taped on my pots, but the tapes fell of many times and I had no idea what was in pots. This was very annoying so I had to come with another way to mark them. I started using the same method I used with my tomatoes. Little plastic sticks.

Somebody would say that is not eco-friendly...well actually it is. I use old plastic blinds. These blinds had to be replaced because they got broken but still there is enough of them for my labeling. I just cut all the ropes and cut blinds in 3-5(depending on blind size) pieces. I use cd pen for writing. They don't get erased with water and write amazingly on plastic blinds.

This year I used most of the tomato labels from last year. I replaced only the ones that I needed for new varieties.
With today's sowing I think I'm done with all the seedlings. The rest will go directly to the garden. I'll sow some lettuce again in June but that's still far away.
I can say that I'm really tired from all the sowing today, actually my back hurts really bad from standing and stooping, even my little helper was so tired he just collapsed on the bed and spent 2 hours snooring.

Still I like this kind of tiredness, it means gardening is back.