2017 Harvest

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring is late

This year it seems spring has decided to take it slow. Although it's almost April and we haven't had any snow since middle of February most plants are still sleeping. Morning temperatures are very low so trees haven't started blooming or forming leaves. I can't remember the last time my orchard was completely dormant at this time of the year. Only few Japanese cherries and Forsythias in sunny parts give some color to our village. Forests trees are still without leaves, filled with Scillas and Helleborus, in shady parts there are still many snowdrops.
Meadows are still covered in dry grass from last year. If you look closely under the grass there are some Sweet violets and Primroses.

My garden is also dormant. The only color I have in it is from a Primrose bush that has been blooming since February and some Hyacinths that started blooming 2 days ago.

Low temperatures and very strong winds are making my every gardenin day a struggle. It took me almost 2 weeks to sow my earliest vegetables. During the February strong winds over dried my soil so after a week of dry but cold weather I got a concrete plate on top of my soil. I dag my beds 3 times to try and soften the lumps of soil, without much success I waited for the rain. The rain came last week and all it did was turn lumps into sticky lumps.

I dag all beds one more time and had to sow. Let's just say I had to make a jigsaw puzzle of soil to cover all my seeds.

I've sown 3 types of carrots Deep Purple, Chantenay and Flakkee, Ptuj red onions and shallots. I managed to sow peas too, instead of 2 varieties this year I have 3. The third one was not planned. I wanted to sow peas that don't need any support. So I decided to get American wonder like every year.
 Well this is where my problem starts. For the second variety I couldn't remember which one I had last year. I had my doubts between Rondo and Progress 9. And of course I got the wrong one. I got 500gr of Rondo peas that grow up to 75cm and need some kind of support.
Now I had no idea where to plant it because when I decided not to plant tall peas I removed all the hooks from my poles and used them for tomatoes. So I decided to throw some peas under my garden fence. Maybe he'll like it there. If the deer don't see it as a free meal.
Because of my mistake I needed another pea variety. The trouble is that at this time our stores don't have any more seeds left so I ended up with a new Hungarian variety Villő. It's a late variety that should be bushy and have big pea pods. We'll see...

The situation in my seedling wonderland is also sticky. Low temperatures are preventing me from keeping my seedling outside. That's why I keep on bringing them in and out of the house.

Also some of my varieties that would usually stay inside have to stay in greenhouse every night so the frost doesn't kill them. Because of the low temperatures my tomatoes haven't germinated yet and I don't have any room to keep them in the house. They are stuck in my 2 shelf greenhouses waiting for the weather to get better.
Right now my greenhouse is overcrowded with pots, All the plants that still haven't germinated are stacked on top of other pots, peppers are stacked on top of those pots and now I have 3 levels of pots inside.

The ones that don't have enough room in the greenhouses are in improvised greenhouses aka. garbage bags.

To make my life even more complicated I decided that I don't want to wait for my shallots to be ready but I'll have some green onions from my Ptuj onions.I found some old plastic egg boxes and thought they would make a great little bulb beds.
sometimes it's good to have lots of clutter
So now I have 4 new "pots" that need a sunny place in the garden.

Normally I would just leave them in some corner or place them in my flower bed because Nero is a good dog that doesn't walk on flowers. Well Nero is...the other one not so much.

Gizmo(doggie got the name from the Gremlins) is still here. Turning my life into a everyday hurricane. When he doesn't bicker with Nero, barks at every moving thing or chews my sleeves he likes to chew things and walk on my flower beds. He's small and crawls under every obstacle and jumps around like a goat. There are not many flower still and he is light so I don't mind him jumping around...only if he would stop leaving me little presents on top of my flowers. :)

Now that he's here even Nero became a bit childish again so now my yard looks like I have a bunch of kids in it. Toys everywhere.

I'm just waiting for them to decide it would be fun to play with my peppers or chew down bulbs. Year just keeps getting better and better :)

what should we destroy next :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Busy and cold

After this years cold beginning, spring sowing is now finally in full swing. I've sown chili peppers in end of January and until last week that was all I have sown.
First sunbathing

Part of the reason for starting so late was that this year is much colder than the past one. We still have frost every morning and daily temperatures haven't still reached 15°C. in this conditions even my mobile greenhouses aren't of much use since in them temperatures in the morning are around 0°C. The other reason for my late start is lack of good sowing substrate. For some reason all our garden centers order good substrate in beginning of March. I had to use regular potting soil for my chili peppers. For now they are growing. Slower than they would normally but they are progressing.

Because of this delay this past week has been very busy. In just couple of days I had to sow most of my vegetables, prune orchard and prepare garden beds. Well I did half of the job. So far I've pruned my orchard and sown lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and part of new flowers.

Garden is still intact.
Not that I didn't have time to do it, But because I got other preoccupation that flew in...or should i say barked it's way in.

This Monday after Nero and I returned from our daily walk we got a surprise waiting in front of our fence. A little furball was sitting in the corner looking scared. At first I thought that it just came here to sniff around and it will leave. It's a village, we get this kind of visits all the time. But hours went by and furball was still waiting in the corner. At the evening we decided that it didn't come to sniff...it was left here.

So now I have 2 dogs in my yard. Little furball is a small, curly dog..a lot like Nero only on short legs. The dog(doesn't have a name yet) was very scared so it took me almost 2 hours to get him in the yard. I'm not sure about his age. But from what it seems it's a very young dog.

I took him in to keep him of the street but here begins our problem. Croatian dumb structures. We called a vet, they said to call animal shelter. We called animal shelter they said since our municipality doesn't pay them they don't want the dog and that I should call service person. We called him, he said he will try to work it out and nothing happened. It's been 4 days and still no word from any of them. Dog is still here.

In this past few days he accepted me so now he jumps all over my head, chews my hands and doesn't leave me alone. But only me, he doesn't accept any other person and barks and growls as soon as you get close to him. He also barks at Nero. Having two male dogs in same yard is never a good idea. Having Nero and another male dog is terrible idea. Nero is a very timid dog, and this little guy feels it, so he's trying to be the boss. This results in them fighting so I'm constantly playing the cop.

For this reason I had to divide my yard in two parts. Nero is now in upper yard and in the house while other dog got the backyard and work-shed. There wouldn't be much problems except this little "hard to see me cause I'm so small" dog knows how to jump over the fences. So now I have to make new improvised fences to keep him from jumping over and start bickering with Nero.

I can't wait to see how tomorrow will pass because I just have to start working in the garden and they can't join me both. If I take little guy Nero will get a nervous breakdown and if I take Nero little one will probably try to jump over the fence and get in the garden.

It's going to be a long long day...