Garden time



Blue Kohlrabi

The garden: 20 March 2014

The garden: 20 March 2014

On the first day of spring, this is my other work in progress. Last year, we painstakingly dug out the garden in our new backyard. It was overflowing with weeds and flowers. Just about everything got moved, either replaced in the garden or moved to the front yard. Our goal was to make room for a whole lot of vegetables this summer. My inspiration for this year’s garden is coming from Alys Fowler’s book and BBC series, The Edible Garden. I watched the BBC series and needed to have the book, which is lovely.

We’ve kept a lot of the flowers from last year and planted some last year for some quick color as well. Right now, we’ve got borage, lungwort, and helleborus up in the shade and violets and grape hyacinth up in the sun. The tulips are coming in the front yard (so many!) and all of the perennials are coming back strong.

The veggie plan is to grow lots of variety and focus on plants that are going to grow a bit quickly and be pretty to look at. We’ll see this year what does well and what we like. Fowler recommends starting lots of young plants in modules and then planting them out as they mature and as space comes free in the garden. We don’t yet have much of a space problem, but we shall see what the season brings. It’s gorgeous gardening weather here just now with lots of warm sunny days and some rain coming, too.

In my modules right now are fennel, kohlrabi, basil, tiny tim tomatoes, chives, and some lettuce. I’ve got a couple more tomato plants that are older and in pots on the window sill. The cherry tomatoes were a big hit last summer and I’m hoping we will get plenty this year. Growing them from seed is a new challenge. Out in the garden we’re taking out plants that over-wintered and have started to flower with the warm weather, kale, cabbage, and brussel sprouts that never really took off. On the other hand, lettuce and kohlrabi that seemed to grow so slowly over the winter have started to really take off and just might give us an early spring crop. I’ve planted out peas in two varieties: Oregon Sugar Snap and Kelvedon Wonder. These are recommendations straight from The Edible Garden. I’m figuring that the climate in the UK is fairly similar to what we have here. I ordered my seeds and some supplies from Tuinwinkel Van der Wal and am quite pleased with them.

This week we’ve also been adding compost to the soil from our own compost pile. On Saturday, it’s National Compost Day (I’m not kidding) and we’ll pick up 40L of free compost from the city. If you live in the Netherlands, check “locaties 2014” menu to see where you can pick up some free compost! I’m planning to keep that aside to add as I plant or move plants through the season.

It’s exciting to have a garden season in front of us – can’t wait to start watching things grow!

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