My garden in 2013

Me and my garlic (and goutweed)

Time to look back at what happened in my garden this year, the biggest successes and failures, and the new problems and innovations …

The ones who did the most awesomepants were definitely the tomatoes.

Tomatoes and strawberries getting started. :3 "No suckers get your love" ... This year I'm trying to do everything right with the tomatoes, including picking off the suckers (side shoots that grow out of their armpits). Seems to be paying off. This is a "supersucker" that I didn't notice for a while.
Cosmonaut Volkov is blushing :3 Barley with Cosmonaut Volkov, Black Cherries and pickled garlic. :3 The tomato harvest is exceeding all expectations ...

That’s because for once in my life, I started them as soon as possible, just after the last frost in early April when I moved out to my garden. Also, I made a serious effort at picking off all the “suckers” (the side shoots from their armpits), something I’d been lazy with before. And the summer had long hot and dry periods that the tomatoes liked, and I put several of them in the front part of my greenhouse, where they got maybe less headspace but definitely even more sun than at the back.

Unfortunately, the dry climate in the greenhouse that the tomatoes loved had a negative effect on many other plants …

Cucumber jungle

The cucumbers started out really nice, but then spider mites started to take over – first the beans, then the cucumbers, zucchini and groundcherries. Only after the season was over I finally figured out what the problem was and how to deal with it: create a moister climate in the greenhouse by spraying the plants with water twice a day or so. I like cucumbers more than tomatoes, after all, so if the tomatoes will be less happy it’s a small price to pay for not having spider mites wipe out most of the cucumbers.

The Habanero (in the pot front/center) is too huge to fit into any photos ... How will I transport it safely to our winter residence? Whee, two almost ripe cayenne peppers!

Something in the greenhouse that wasn’t harmed by the spider mites and also thrived in the dryer climate were the hot peppers. I have a Habanero and a Cayenne that I grew from seed two years ago. The Cayenne, for the first time, made two big, beautiful fruits early this summer. The Habanero gave up its fruits but grew huge. Maybe next year it will make fruit, too …

Beans blossoming outside :3 Beans in bloom

Outside, the runner/pole beans on the side of the trailer were happy as always.

Peas :3

I got lots of peas, until the nettles started to take over the patch and I didn’t cut them back enough.

The oregano (also 3 years old) has huge flowers this year. Lavender menace - I grew it from seed three years ago, and this year it's in bloom for the first time.

The 3 years old oregano grew huge and made lots of flowers. The lavender, also grown from seed 3 years ago, made little flowers for the first time.

Rice with yeast flakes, plum pie (made in a frying pan) with vanilla sauce, coffee on the way. Anybody who turns vegan just to lose weight is mistaken ... :3 Breakfast - epic plum kisel' and Finnish sour crackers with avocado and fake caviar. :3

The plum tree seems to have a biannual cycle going on, and every other year it makes massive amounts of fruit. This year was one of the massive fruit years, and for a week or two I ate plum kisel and plum pie every day. Mmmm … I even gave a lot of kisel away so it would get eaten before it went bad. (I made the pies in a frying pan so they looked too hideous to share with anyone and I was forced to eat them all on my own …
V`(oo)´V *sigh*)

Garlic <3 Garlic is looking good so far ... :3
Quite small garlic, but almost all of them actually survived till harvest! All of this year's garlic. The cloves are quite tiny, except the one freaky bulb that's one single clove. Last year all my garlic died in the spring, so this year has been a great success!

This was the first year when garlic has actually stayed alive all the way. Maybe because the summers before were wetter. I got several little bulbs that I tied into a horrible braid to dry. I’ve planted the biggest bulbs again for next year, since garlic apparently adapts to its environment over the years.

Feral mint Even more surprise blackberries?! This time from underneath the trailer. Some little animal must have pooped the seeds there ...?

Two nice plants that appeared seemingly out of nowhere this year were wild mint (above left) and raspberry. The ants unfortunately used the raspberries for grazing their livestock and did not practise holistic management, so they kind of ravaged them and I only got to try two or three berries.

New potato patch, reclaimed from the nettles after I concluded that I can't eat all the nettles that grew there fast enough ... Finally got a rhubarb plant. I hope it likes this spot. :3

I built a new garden bed, reclaiming it from the nettles, where I grew potatoes this year. And I finally got a rhubarb. First I put it in a too shady place where snails ate it too much, so I moved it to a sunnier spot. We’ll see how it does there …

Wtf, the slugs and snails are much more interested in nibbling the decomposing goutweed and nettle cuttings than the fresh potato plants right next to them?! This seems too good to be true ...!

Speaking of little creatures nibbling things … I made an insanely good discovery this year, namely that slugs prefer one day old goutweed cuttings to potato plants. (I wrote more about that in the special slug post.)

Up yours, Günther. My neighbour (Günther) has spent all morning pretending to do something right in his kitchen window, staring at me while I put up this bamboo screen. Better than TV I guess ... Jerusalem artichoke in the ground, aluminium sheet to stop my neighbour's poisons from contaminating my soil #upyoursgünther

Something that is a recurring issue in my garden is the gaping hole that gives my neighbours on one side full view of my garden. It got worse when a large bush collapsed in one of the storms. I put up a bamboo screen there that provides a little bit of shade, but it’s not perfect. It would be amazing if some day I could hang out in my garden and not have to see or be seen by my annoying neighbour.

Last winter was harsh and the deer ate all the green off the cypresses that I had planted there. So this winter I have cruelly covered them in plastic netting. Even so, it will be many years until the cypresses are big enough to provide a visual barrier. So my new, desperate innovation is to plant jerusalem artichoke in that area! We’ll see how it goes next year …

Cooking on tealights Maybe future mushroom colony ... though not created under the most ideal conditions: the wood was very fresh and not the best type. But we'll see ... :3

Another new innovation was to cook not on the sooty rocket stove and not on the explosive alcohol cooker, but on top of five tealights! It’s a bit slower, but simple, clean and unfussy. After a while I acquired a big stash of tealights without aluminium holders, too.
And next year I’ll find out if those logs will actually grow mushrooms.

* * *

Bonus: cute little friends

Bumblebee from the front

Little bumblebee on the chive blossom

Little bee in the cucumber flower

Little Honeybee on the cucumber blossom

Little toad :3

Little Toadie in the pond

This mosquito agrees that I should probably not do intravenous drugs.

Little mosquitie on my arm

Wasp friend

Little waspie under the bean leaf

Hornet friend (who didn't want to let go of the cardboard) :3 Little froggie (actually as big as my fist)

Little Hornetie after I took her outside, and little froggie on the edge of the patio

I would post cute sluggie photos but they already got a whole post of their own. :3

Filed under Photos and videos, Uncategorized · Tagged with

Comments are closed.