Friday, 27 March 2015

Lamb's Lettuce

Valerianella locusta is a very popular plant in Croatia which green leaves are used to make the salads. We call it by its German name, Feldsalat. As the name indicates, it grows wild in the meadows and fields. I remember my grandmother picking it in Spring. I have no idea why, this plant gets a very high price on the market, almost insane! Yesterday I picked up the last of it in my vegetable garden. I use to scatter the seeds over one bed in Autumn and get plenty of green leaves in early Spring. 

I managed to sow the tree rows of carrot yesterday afternoon, just as I have planned it. In between the carrot rows, I planted the onion sets. I love to eat spring onion and always plant plenty of sets every year. Planting them every two weeks prolongs the cropping season. Of course, they can be grown from seeds as well, but sets come to yield quicker. The rain came in the evening and gave them a good portion of water - just what they needed. I did not sow parsley because the soil on this bed was not workable. It was too wet to break into a fine tilth. 

I made the two supports for my peonies today. Some of my tall cultivars tend to bend over under the weight of big double flowers they bear. Once the stems grow through, the support will be hidden under the green leaves. I needed six willow branches and a wire to make it. This is my first attempt to make something like that and I already have an idea how to improve it. I think I will make another one this weekend, but I need to collect some more material for this design. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The New Compost Bin

Some months ago I got the compost bin from our local council. 500 of these were given away for free to all the people that have a garden at home. It was quite easy to assemble it which I did this afternoon. The capacity of this compost bin is 350 litres. The bin has no bottom, of course, and the sides have tiny holes to let the air flow inside and out. The lid has wind-safe-twist-lock design. There is also a round device on the lid that serves to open or to close additional slots letting the air flow from above. It empties from the lower slide-up doors. I am quite content with it. I already have enough materials to fill it in. This will be a job for the weekend because the rain started some hours ago and is expected to last until Friday.

The seedlings are growing well in my nursery. I am really amazed how quickly they grow. The air temperature will rise up to 22°C in the following days, which is unusually warm for this period of the year. According to my moon calendar, tomorrow is a good day to sow carrot and parsley. Maybe it won't be raining all the time, and I will be able to it. The bed is already prepared.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Sprouting Seeds

I sowed the first seeds indoors two weeks ago. My mini-glasshouses were all placed on the radiator and got some bottom heat to start up. I sowed two kinds of lettuce, purple kohlrabi, three sorts of kale and the tomato 'Tigerella'. 

Two days ago I noticed the tiny sprouts coming through and decided to place the pots and module trays outdoors. As some of you have already known, every spring I turn my grilling place into a cold frame. It proved to be an ideal place to arrange the trays and cover with a piece of transparent plastic foil. To my great surprise, the ziny seedlings responded rather well to this change of place.


No wonder, the more light they receive the better the germination and growth. 
The soil in the garden was pretty moist last week and thus not very much workable, but I manage to sow the peas. I also made a new vegetable bed where I plan to grow cucumbers this year. I only need to make the trellis or espalier. 

the new cucumber bed

Preparing this bed was not easy. Firstly, I dug up a few old jostaberry bushes. Secondly, I removed lots of ground elder roots and celandine bulbils. Literally, it was weeding inch by inch, a very laborious work. I have rather removed the soil infected with the celandine bulbils than risk having it spread again. Finally, I filled the bed with compost and weed free soil.
Tomorrow I will rest from digging and losing the soil. I will rake the lawn, remove the mole hills and cut the excess growth of some bushes too.