2017 Harvest

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The same old story every year

 Past few years spring has been a mix of very moody weather starting unusually warm and by the middle, bringing a few very cold mornings. The worst possible combination for plants and trees.
Seedlings start growing too fast and then are stopped abruptly or even killed by below 0°C temperatures.
By the looks of it, this April won't be any different. First 2 weeks we had very warm weather and then on the Easter day weather started changing. Now the new forecast is saying we'll have next few days with very low daily temperatures and below or around zero morning temperatures.

This, of course, means a lot of trouble with frost sensitive plants, especially with seedlings. Many of them stop growing at temperatures below 5°C and freeze on 0°C.
This means that I had to rearrange my seedlings one more time.
Greenhouse is filled with frost senistive flowers and some of the tomatoes and the rest of less sensitive flowers will just be covered with agrotextile.

I still have some tomatoes that were sown late and are small. They have been moved to the house again.

Other tomatoes have overgrowen my greenhouse and are now beeing moved on daily bases in and out of the basement.

Most peppers haven't moved from the windows yet and will be staying here until this frost days pass.

The only seedlings that are strong enough and frost tolerate to be outside are cabbages. They should be transplanted outside but they will have to wait for a few sunny days first.

Now all that is left is to hope this will be the last frost date wel'l have this year.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Growing strawberries where they want to grow

A few years back I've had a big garden bed full of strawberries. They were the type of berries that gave fruits throughout the summer and we've had plenty of them the whole year.
then something happened and they started disappearing. Feeding them with fresh soil and manure didn't help, using different methods of weed protection didn't help either and after a while, we were left with no fruits.
Then my mom bought other strawberries but they were not the same variety and this new one gave fruit only once a year.
Also, the new strawberries didn't like our garden so they also started disappearing so we did the only sane thing to do. Took them out and planted them in pots.

For the past 5 years I've had strawberries only in the pots, but past year something changed,
First I've noticed that on my old strawberry bed there were lots of new, young strawberry plants. I thought it would be a good thing not to touch them and see if they will produce any fruits.

Then I thought why not try transplanting my potted strawberries to the garden too. So I made a little experiment. I planted 2 strawberry bushes on one part of the garden. I didn't even make a bed for them. I just removed the grass and planted then in a first shaded place I could find.

When the flowering time came I was really surprised, both self-grown strawberries and my planted ones had plenty of flowers and soon after that, they were filled with fruits. They gave fruits only once but they were still delicious and very very large fruits.

So this year I decided to transplant the rest of my potted strawberries to the same spot where I've planted my strawberries last year.
They grew over the last year so now I got plenty of new strawberries.

I did the exact same thing like I did the last time. I didn't bother with bed preparation and weed removing. I just prepared a hole, placed some manure and planted my strawberries.
It seems that the less I mess with them the better they grow.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Moody March

March is usually one of the moodiest months in a year. It's weather can variate from extremely cold and snowy to warm and rainy. Usually, we are used to this changes, but after this March I can safely say that this has been one of the weirdest months in a long time.
After a very long period of very low temperatures with the beginning of March summer came storming. In just a couple of days from below zero temperatures we jumped to very warm 20°C (68F) and the temperatures stayed the same almost whole month. The coldest morning was in the beginning of March with -2°C(28.4F) and the rest of the mornings were over the zero and freezing point.
The warmest days brought us temperatures around 25°C(77F) which is very unusual for our country in March. In many places, century temperature records were broken many times over the month.
Besides being the warmest March it was also a very dry one. There was almost no rain in March. We got two days with 2mm of rain in the beginning of March and later not a single drop.

Did this kind of weather affect my garden? Yes, it certainly did.
Although this warm weather brought good sowing conditions the lack of rain is delaying the germination of plants. It has now been three weeks since I've sown my carrots, peas and onions and still no plants. Today I've noticed that the peas are finally showing.

Warm weather is doing wonders for all the trees and flowers. Still, even here the extreme heat is visible. Everything is blooming at the same time. The Bleeding heart which usually blooms here around the end of April is already in full bloom together with all the trees and summer flowers.

The unusually warm weather is giving me troubles with my seedling too. It's been too warm lately so we stopped heating the house.
The moment we stopped heating my seedling started getting leggy so even though is too early I've moved them into my outside greenhouses. If the temperatures drop I will bring them back inside but for now, tomatoes are staying outside.

Flowers had to give the greenhouse room to tomatoes

Peppers are also not too pleased with this weather. Temperatures are prolonging the germination time since I don't have the temperature over 25°C indoors. I've moved them to the window which is in full sun during the day hoping this will help them grow.

Now my main concern is that the weather will change drastically during the April and that we'll get frost temperatures again. Let's hope the moody March weather will continue during the April but with more rain.