Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sowing the Peas

Thanks to several days without rain, I manage to work in my vegetable garden today. Actually, I sowed the peas. I had to dig up the last year's parsley first. As you can see it on the picture it is beautifully green due to the mild winter. The soil was not so wet and I only needed to loosen it with a garden fork. Every year I see the improvement of the soil in my vegetable garden. Long time ago I decided not to dig it any more. 
And it works! It is certainly low maintenance garden. It is also a natural way to create a rich, organic environment for the plants. I forked in a plenty of compost and spread some pellets of organic fertilizers.
When the peas germinate, I'll cover the soil with a layer of straw. In nature, the soil is always covered with the vegetation from the last season which slowly decoys and nurtures the soil. So, mulching seems a very reasonable thing to do. 
The best of all is almost weed-free bed!

Yesterday evening I cut out some hazel branches to make these marking sticks. I have seen them somewhere on the Internet - what a great idea! They are really easy to make. The one of them is already marking the pea bed.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Four Seasons

No, I don't refer to Vivaldi, although it is one of my favourite pieces of classical music. I refer to four seasons in my garden. So it was in 2013.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Odd Weather

Like in England, some parts of Croatia have been suffering heavy rain fall and strong winds for days. The vast areas of land are under water. Poor people! Many of them are more worried about their cattle and crop in polythene tunnels and glasshouses than themselves. The whole winter the weather has been rather odd - unusually warm, with lots of rain and strong winds. 
Considering the weather here in Croatia, travelling to the east leaves the bad weather behind. 
One might feel guilty for having sunny day and planning to sow the pea - like I do. I bought my favourite cultivar of pea yesterday, 'American Wonder'. It proved itself the best for my garden. I did not sow it after all. It was raining overnight and now is the soil too wet to work on it. 

Last autumn I mulched all the beds in the vegetable garden with straw. I am very pleased I did it. As you can see, there is no single weed peeping out. When the days became warmer, I will rake it off for soil to warm up. After sowing the seeds and planting the seedlings, I will put it back to keep the weeds off and keep the soil moist.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Heralds of Spring

One day sunny,  the other day rain... never mind. I managed to take some photographs in my garden yesterday. Snowdrops and Crocuses appeared in other parts of the garden. It is certainly earlier than they use to - everything looks like spring coming.

I harvested the last of the kale. This beauty on the picture is called 'Scarlet'. Now is the colour more intense than ever. I have also the curly green kale named 'Rossignol' and, of course, 'Black Tuscany' alias cavolo nero. They would make a nice vegetable stew. 
The soil is too wet to do any extensive work in the garden but, I am thinking of sowing the peas. I saw the row of pea seedlings in one of the gardens! Actually, the weather is pretty good for peas, they love lower temperatures and germinate on 4 - 6°C. 

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Bye, Bye, Winter?

This is how Gorski kotar, a mountain region in Croatia, looked like only a few days ago. Everything was coated in heavy thick ice. And our so called civilisation failed in all of its aspects; there was no electricity, transport impossible, schools closed. Many people could not go to work, visit the doctor or buy the daily groceries.
The enormous damage is made on deciduous trees which cracked under the weight of ice. Interesting, almost all conifers suffered no damage at all. 

Where I live, we are doing remarkably well so far at missing the bad weather that made so much damage on certain places in Croatia and all over the world as well. It was not very cold, we had not much snow, no icy rain. I mustn't be angry with the moles that made numerous earth humps on my lawn. That is, in compare to the other people misfortune, the least I should complain about!
Normally, February is the coldest month of the year here but, according to the long-termed weather forecasts we can say 'bye,bye winter'. But, I wan't be doing any indoor sowing or planting yet. It may be warm enough, but it is still little light for seedlings to grow strong and firm. Besides, it would be too early to plant them out in March. The weather here is very tricky. I'll better be waiting for the risk frosts to pass.