April 2018 garden update
Today was a perfect gardening day for me. Besides a few orders that had to be done, I could spent all my day in- and around the garden. In practice that meant that I spent around two and a half hours in the garden, but I also visited a gardening shop and did some other things in support of the garden. Just perfect. So perfect, that I can even post some pictures (from my good camera) as a quick April 2018 garden update. What more could you ask of life, right?! Just kiddin’!
You see, my agenda has been a bit more saturated compared to last year, so I had a bit less time to work in the garden all together. Next to that, we have spent almost all of March in the USA, and therefore I have missed the most busy period – garden wise – of the year. And that’s why I’m so happy to have a full day evolving around our garden. I think and hope I will have a few more the upcoming weeks
Being away in March
Does this make April less busy? Well, yes, and no. Yes, because you miss certain opportunities. For example, the compost always gets delivered around March in our village. And although the first load came just before our holiday, I couldn’t get a lot of it up to the garden in a short period of time. Also it snowed! Now that we are back, the compost is almost gone. So I won’t be bringing up as much compost up as I would have if I was here, so less work! But that’s just one example of things you just miss momentum for, and that’s ok. Because there are still enough things to do, the gardening seasons is definitely not lost.
What makes April more busy on the other hand, is that I haven’t been sowing a lot before our holiday. I was a bit afraid that things would get out of water, so I decided to postpone 99% of the things. I gave a few things to a friendly colleague of Eduard that volunteered to take care of our tomato seeds, but everything else got basically postponed. Right now I’m therefore sowing like crazy! I’ll update you on that in the future. Today I just want to show you the vegetable garden.
Two years of plotting away
Two years ago, in March, we got our garden. I have shown it before here, but I want to show it again, as we are once again at the beginning of a gardening season. I always hope it inspires people, that are setting up a new plot, to see how much can change in only two years.
Halfway March 2016 I started building up the garden by placing cardboard all over the garden and covering it with wood chips.
And it looked like this somewhere halfway May. It took me two months to finish the garden. The garden wasn’t really finished. Throughout that whole season, you could see pieces of cardboard all over the place. Messy it was! But I knew that there was going to be a moment in the future, when I would be able to look back with pride. With my eyes wide open, not partly shut – looking through my eyelashes – so that I couldn’t see the cardboard sticking out everywhere. Well, that moment came this weekend, when I realized (together with E.) that the garden was looking good. In general, but also for the amount of work that I have put into it this year. And it only took two years!
No more weeds
I covered the garden with cardboard two years ago, mostly because I didn’t want to spent too much time weeding. And ooh boy, that worked out perfectly. Ofcourse there are still weeds, but on the picture above you can see that it’s not a lot! That black bucket that you see is I think 1/4 of the weeds in the garden. That’s really not a lot, considering that the whole garden was one big weed patch!
Black compost and brown wood-chips
I just love the look of black compost on the beds, and brown wood chips on the paths. I never seem to succeed to get everything done at the same time at the beginning of the year, but I think this year I might come close. I have already finished the top part and I think I’m halfway the bottom part of the garden.
I started off with the seating area this time, as I normally do that as last, which is not the most comfortable choice. This time I felt I had the luxury of time, so I covered that area with a thick layer of cardboard and then with wood chips. It took me quite some time to bring everything up, but now it’s done.
I’m now moving on to my paths. I think it will be the last part that will be finished this year. I need to focus on the compost first, so that I can start planting out seedlings. I want to give the compost some time to come to life in contact with the existing garden life.
And there is a lot of garden life. Lots of fat worms, but also some green things. I forgot to make a picture of my two rhubarb plants unfortunately. Also I forgot to make picture of the asparagus and of the cardoon. All these things next to the herbs and fruit bushes are already starting to color up. But there are also some other things that are showing off in the garden.
And then there are some leftover kale plants from last year and some leeks here and there that need to be harvested by the end of the month to make place for this years crops. I will probably leave one kale plant to go to seed, just so that I can save seeds for later years. You probably do know that I try to save one cabbage variety per year, seed wise. This way I can save on buying seeds in the future.
Well this is it, as far as my update goes. I hope it’s not too random. I just want to show you how happy I am to be in the garden again. I ended last year with a big downer, when my pumpkins got stolen, so I really had to drag myself to the garden by the end of last year. I walked and worked away that feeling over the last few months I guess and now I see the garden again in a positive light. *fingers crossed*