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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Dwarfs and Gianths


I picked up a lot of tomatoes today. Only this big one weights more than half a kilo.


Funny! The smallest one is 163.75 times lighter than the big one.



Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Cherry Tomatoes and Blackberries


Every year all over my vegetable garden appears quite a lot of cherry tomato seedlings. As they fell off, the seeds survive in the ground even the harshest winter. I leave only a few of them in my vegetable garden cause they are pretty vigorous plants and need lots of space.


On the other hand, on a patch of ground that actually isn't my garden, but I have a permission to use it, I leave about 10 plants. I don't stake them, but simply leave them to crawl and spread. I harvest them every other day as they ripen.


At this very place on the other side of my garden fence, there are wild brambles growing through the bushes. The berries are pretty big and shiny so, I believe they are crossed-pollinated with some of the cultivated ones. Last autumn I cut them all to the ground. This year the new stems are full of fruits. 


I picked up this bowl of blackberries in just ten minutes. And, it is only a third of the total that I should pick up today. There are lots of red, semi-ripe blackberries and I am looking forward to another good harvest.








Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Heat Wave


We have been through the third heat wave this summer. The temperatures break the records going up to 42°C in some regions. My thermometer measured 39°C in the shade yesterday. The temperature in the full sun is certainly higher. As you can see, Croatia is all red. This Saturday is supposed to be the last day of this unbearable weather. I don't garden at all, only water the vegetable and flower beds in the evening every other day.


It is amazing how the plants successfully survive such conditions. In the night, they take up the water I gave them. During the day, the foliage looks as if they are going to wilt but no, it is only a way to endure the heat. As soon as the sun goes down, they came alive again. On the picture above is my giant pumpkin plant. It is so enormous that I cannot take the picture of the entire plant in one shot. Don't know the name of the variety, the skin is grey and it is excellent baked in the oven and as a soup ingredient. I got it last year from a friend of mine and sowed its seed. 


I will have a good crop of various members of Cucurbitaceae family this year: courgettes 'Romanesco' and 'Spaghetti', pattypan squashes 'Scallop mixed', 'Hokkaido',  'Waltham Butternut', 'Turk's Cap', 'Harrier' and a small pumpkin 'Jack Be Little'.

This is the young 'Hoolihan'.

I hope it will rain properly tomorrow. And thanks, but no, thanks, we don't need a hail storm or hurricane wind that destroyed the entire crop in some parts of Croatia.




Friday, 21 July 2017

Another Harvest


Every gardener knows what a pleasure it is picking up the fruits and vegetables from ones own garden. 


The days are pretty hot and dry and I need to water the garden frequently.  I water the vegetable garden every day in the evening. The flower beds are densely planted and I can do the watering every three days.


The Day Lilies and Echinaceas are blooming tirelessly. The white Phlox and Oxeye daisies are the new addition to the whole display now. The bees and the butterflies are everywhere.


The vase at the house entrance is not as lush as the last year because this year I couldn't find the plants I wanted. Anyway, it doesn't look so bad, does it?


And, one interesting thing to end up this post. I had a few potatoes from the last season left in a sack in my cellar. They formed the new potatoes on the shoots. It is a proof that the potato tubers are anatomically stem tubers. The roots are not necessary because old potato serves as the feed storage. At least for some time






Thursday, 13 July 2017

Tomatoes


Tomatoes look good this year, maybe because the weather is dry and there is no trace of any fungal diseases. I do water them regularly, spray with horsetail soup and feed with my homemade comfrey fertiliser.


I have no idea what sorts of tomato I have except 'Maskotka' and 'Gigantomo' that I grew myself from seed. But, these two bear no fruit yet only the flowers.


I picked up a few ripe tomatoes yesterday. Soon it will be more. 


This is 'Jabuńćar' (meaning 'Apple'), the Serbian breed. The plants have grown enormously big up to bamboo canes, 1.8 m! If I had known they would be so big I would give them more space.


The fruit will be pretty big, a handful of just one tomato. This variety matures a bit late in the season, so I am supposed to have enough tomatoes throughout the season.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Pumkins and Gourds


This gourd accidentally germinated right on the spot where I sowed the ornamental bindweed. 


  As it seems, they two happily grow together. 



In spite of very hot days, 33 - 37°C in the last week, all the pumpkin and courgette vines grow like crazy. 


We haven't had much rain and regular watering is in order.


I am happy to say that almost every flower of the squash 'Harrier' (Cucurbita moschata) is successfully pollinated and there will be lots os squashes from only two plants. It's a butternut squash type, one of the earliest maturing variety.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

An Unexpected Guest


I was sitting in my living room when I heard a sudden bump into the kitchen door. I knew immediately what it was, a bird confusing the real tree for a mirroring image in the door glass.


It happens now and then and it is usually a small bird like a sparrow or the great tit, but today it was an unexpected guest - a woodpecker.


I put him on the table into a basket to protect him from the cat. He looked OK, except he felt woozy a bit from the stroke.


I gave him some water and spray him all over as well. He sat there for a few minutes and then, suddenly, flew away. I am so happy he's OK.
By the way, it is Dendrocopos medius, middle spotted woodpecker.


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Harvesting


The tomato plants look so good this year.  They grow up like crazy, I need to tie them up every second day. Maybe it is because we have had warm and rainy days recently. I have one patch with 12 plants that are already setting the fruits. There are is another patch with 15 plants and they are all in bloom. Both of them are very healthy. I gave them each week a spray of horsetail soup. It works as a foliar fertiliser, and also strengthens the plants.


I harvested French beans 'Amethyst' yesterday. 


Pumpkin in bloom. 


The curled leaved parsley 'Lisette' may be grown outside or indoors all year round. It would be a nice addition to my herb collection.

Collecting the First Seeds


Campsis radicans, the Trumpet vine, finally splits open. Some of the last year's capsules fell down on the ground, and have collected the seeds. I don't really need it, but a friend of mine would like to try growing the Trumpet vine from seed. 



The early blooming Allium schoenoprasum, Chives, has already brought the seeds. I am planning the new herb garden and will sow it right on the site. 


Nigella, Love-in-a-Mist is not yet ripe for the picking, but I keep a close watch on it. This one has pale pink flowers instead of usual blue. It is also a good self-seeder so, I will let few capsules to spread the seeds naturally.


Levisticum officinalis, Lovage being a bold and bushy plant, sprouted the umbrella-like flower the sky high. It is over two meters high this year! The last year, the seeds I collected from this plant, travelled literally all over the world. Happy to share it.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Hemerocallis


Hemerocallis fulva in full bloom.


'Elegant Candy'


'El Desperado'


'Shola'


H. fulva


'Crimson Pirate'


Thursday, 15 June 2017

What's Blooming in my Garden Today?


Gaillardia


Gaura lindheimerii


Clematis sp.


Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'


Petunia sp.