2017 Harvest

Friday, June 24, 2016

Seed disgrace

 Past few years our seed situation has changed drastically. Few years back we have changed our laws and now we can import seeds from Europe without testing their quality.  With no control and no Croatian seed production we're flooded with seeds that don't match the description, have low quality and often don't germinate.
So far I've noticed bad germination in carrot seeds, pepper seeds that had 10 different pepper varieties inside one bag and wrong variety of beans in bags.
Situation with cucumber seeds has been getting worse each year. First year all bags contained less seeds than they used to have, they used to have 5gr while now they have only 3gr, also last year germination was very bad, less than 50% germinated.
But this year seeds are...well there's no other words to describe them but RUBBISH.

Because of my last year seed problems, this year I placed 2 nets each 10m length to compensate for any germination problems. I've also bought 7 bags of cucumbers, 4 different varieties and 4 different seed packers.
Still the results are disappointing.

The only good seeds were Joker F1 by ZKI company(Hungary). I bought 2 bags, each bag contained 60-70 seeds.

This seeds have mostly germinated and are doing well.

Next are Aladyn F1, Vilmorin(Polish), packages contain 2gr of seeds. Bought 2 bags.

We could say that the result is 50%. One bag germinated very well, but other one didn't even reach 50%

Levina F1, Moj Vrt seeds. After much digging it seems this are Italian seeds, company PRO S.O.L)
Bags contain 3 gr of seeds, expiration date 2019.

Two bags, this is all that I have from them.

And my favourite one Potomac F1, L'ortolano (Italy), bag contains 3gr of seeds, ex date 2018.

Are there any words needed for this image?

 After this disappointment I bought another 2 bags of ZKI seeds, this time it was Zita F1 to fill the gaps and will probably need more seeds.

This makes me wonder, how many bags of seeds do I need to fill 20m of net? So far I'm up to 9 used bags. Few more bags and it will be cheaper to buy 10kg on the market than grow them

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Garden review 06.06 - 22.06. 2106

This spring has been a very moody one. Weather has been changing every two days preventing any major garden work. Morning temperatures are stable around 15°C (59F) , while daily temperatures move from 18°C (65F) to 32°C (90F). Until now in June we got 130 litres of rain while our average amount for whole month is 90 litres. There is a big possibility this number will rise even more since we still have 8 more days of June.

Past two weeks out of 14 days I only got 3 sunny and dry days to do much needed garden work.
There has been more days without rain but the soil has been so saturated with water that it takes at least 3 days to dry enough so I could get in the garden.

Last rain we had on Saturday 18th and I couldn't get in the garden until today.Even today parts of the garden are so moist they are impossible to work on.

Weeds are our biggest issue this year. Rainy weather is giving them much needed water for growth and the amount of grass in the garden is unbelievable. It takes only 2 or 3 days for a cleaned part of the bed to become weed infested again.
It is starting to seem that this year I'm losing the weed battle. While I get to the end of the garden and finish cleaning the last bed I can start again from the beginning.

I'm not the only one with this problem. Our neighbours are dealing with the same issue. Weeds are covering half of the field. I can't remember a year when they were so big.

Corn is lost somewhere in the green area filled with weeds.

Still some of my vegetables enjoy this rainy weather. My beans have recuperated and have started forming flowers, maybe this bean year will not be lost after all.

If Srećko doesn't decide to pull all my beans out.

Since the incident with deer chewing I decided to take Srećko to the garden with me.
Nero has been going to the garden with me since he was a puppy, he knows where he can walk and never destroys anything, but now that he's an elder dog he doesn't like spending time in the garden anymore. He comes to the garden, sniffs a bit and goes back to the house to sleep.

Srećko has never been in the garden before, I took him a few times to the orchard on a long leash because he always tried to dig holes under the fence and escape. Now that I have fixed every possible escape route I thought it would be a good idea to take him to.
One dog peeing around and leaving his scent is ok, but two...that should chase the deer away.

Srećko is a good dog most of the time, he runs to the orchard and I don't see him for about an hour or two. But when he gets bored he starts doing silly things.
He doesn't quite understand the meaning of beds and paths. Sure he walks on the paths if there is something tall planted like a tomato bush or a bean net.

But as soon as he gets to the part where there are no tall vegetables the fun starts . As far as I can understand it seems that his logic is: "If it looks like a grass, then it's grass and I can roll in it"

This rule relates the most to my carrot bed. As soon as he spots it he's in it. Giving orders doesn't help, yelling "stop", "yuck" or "no" doesn't help, I even tried carrying him to other side of the garden. No result. He forgets about the carrots for couple of minutes and when he spots them he's back on.
The only good thing is carrots are under ground so his rolling around doesn't do much damage.

Another thing we fight about is his digging. He concluded that if I plant something and he sees me doing it that means he has to dig it back out.
Today I planted my corn 3 times and had to lead a real war with him to prevent him from excavating my Physalis, Tomatillo and Jaltomate bushes.

Muddy nose and devilish look

He's been busy
Our fight ended with him being escorted out of the garden earlier than planned. It didn't seem to bother him.  For past 2 hours he has been sleeping in his favourite spot, probably dreaming of his carrot bed.

Did I mention he collects old rags and sleeps on them? :D

Monday, June 6, 2016

When you don't listen to your instincts

Today while I was walking home I came across my neighbour, after few minutes of pleasant chitchat she asked me how my garden was doing. She mentioned that her garden was devastated by roe deer and that she had nothing left.
I had no idea about the surprise waiting in my garden.
Yesterday my garden was still ok, everything was growing nicely

and today....a disaster

Note: net was added today after the damage
 All 4 of my bean beds have been chewed down. Roe deer left me only one row of Trešnjevac beans

The rest is gone

Zelenček got less damage, probably because it was the first to germinate and some leaves are already old.

Purple king and wax beans gone

String beans young leaves eaten but the old ones still standing.

They even gobbled my apple branches

So what do you do? Except cry for ruined garden. I decided maybe something will recuperate and I placed a protective net...net which I had at home and DIDN'T place. Net which was hanging in a bag on the fence and never got to be placed. First I didn't have the branches to place it and later with all the problems I completely forgot. Well this will teach me a lesson. Place the damn net even if there are no roe deer around.

I've also placed tall bushy branches on my fence to make it look bigger and more dangerous. I don't know if this will help but maybe it will confuse this crazy animals because they are clearly jumping over the fence(there are no holes on the fence).

 Now I'm doubting if there is any point in sowing new batch of beans. I still have enough seeds, but what is the point if it will all get chewed.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A little more flowers

After a very poor winter and spring June is the month when flowers here thrive. Very warm days with almost everyday rain might not be good for our vegetables, but our flowers enjoy this kind of weather.
Garden filled with different colours certainly look beautiful, but when you get closer and observe each flower individually... that's when the magic begins.

Columbines are now in full bloom

but as soon as the temperatures reach 30+°C will start making seed pods

So this is the last chance to capture new blue flowers

and some black ones

The rock soapwort is filling our pots with little pink flowers
Pink daisy with a little ant
Dame's rocket reappeared this year
A single Digitalis, one in the whole garden
Lupine...also the only one
but there is plenty of Sweet Williams

Hydrangea slowly turning pink
Grape flowers
 Even our nearby forest is bringing colour in the yard.

Black locust