End of July Update

The garden has been very productive this year, despite an overall lack of rain. Here are a few highlights:

Green beans: 4.82 kg
Strawberries: 20.76 kg
Red currents: 5.66 kg
Potatoes: 53.3 kg
Garlic: 108 pieces
Onions: 201 pieces
Carrots: 3.5 kg
Zucchini: 198 pieces (to date)

The new beds are doing well, the melons and pumpkins are spreading out rapidly:

The expanding melon and pumpkin patch.

Our two pear trees are really bearing fruit:

Garden Expansion

Mid-May marked the second month of working in my home office as a result of COVID-19. This has the advantage that I have more time, because I don’t have to commute to work each day. I can also spend my lunch breaks in the garden.

Most years I am very ambitious with my gardening activities, this year I brought this to a new level. I had a few days off from work so decided to turn an unused portion of the garden into garden beds.

Clearing more space for garden beds.

After clearing the grass away and digging up a large pile of roots and stones, I ended up with 5 new growing beds. In one bed I planted a row of watermelon and cantaloupe melons. In another row I planted Muscat (nutmeg) pumpkins. As both of these need a lot of room to grow, I planted buckwheat in every other row as a cover crop.

Three alternating rows of buckwheat, with watermelon and pumpkins between them.

As the melons and pumpkins grow, I can dig in the buckwheat and make the space available for their expansion.

The beds right before I dug the buckwheat in.

My tomatoes want out…

Spring is straining to break out, but the nights are still cool, it dropped below freezing a couple nights this week.

The plants that I started are screaming to go outside, but Friday night the temperatures are predicted to drop to around freezing. But after Saturday the temperature prediction for the next 10 days are favorable, my tomatoes may finaly get their way. I have been gradually hardening them off this week, carrying them back inside each night. I think they are ready, we’ll see.

Tomatoes want out
Tomatoes want out…now!

The lettuce in my raised beds is looking good, we have already been pulling leaves to eat. As home office continues, its a pleasure to go outside and pick some lunch.

Raised Beds
Lettuce and swiss chard, with some sweet corn starts in the foreground.

Our church was able to reopen last weekend, but with limited participants, mandatory masks, and a disinfections station at the door. I was tasked with building the stand:

Sanitation Stand
Sanitation Stand

Garden Plans for 2020

We had an extremely early spring in our part of Germany this year, I was able to start working the gardens in January. I planted garlic on the 18th of January, and set out onions on February 29th. They are both doing very well.

Onion and garlic beds on April 22, 2020

In February my company began implementing policies to combat the COVID-19 virus, first travel restrictions, than beginning in the middle of March, home office for all employees that are able too. I am fortunate that I can do my job just as well at home as in the office. Working at home has its advantages, I save at least 1-1/2 hours a day travel time, and when the weather is nice, I can spend my lunch time outside.

As I write the government continues to ure people to stay at home, restaurants are closed, other than grocery shopping there is little to do. So now when I am not working, I go for a walk or a run, and have been spending a lot of time in the garden.

The 160 square meter E-Garden is ready for planting, in fact the potatoes and peas are already out.

Peas and Potatoes in E-Garden

The 18 square meter L-Garden is also very far ahead. I was able to set up broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants at the end of March. The endive survived the mild winter, we are still eating it.

Cauliflower, cabbage, endive and broccoli in the L-Garden

I am also taking advantage of working at home and have started my own tomato, cucumber, squash and numerous other plants in my yard garden and in almost every window in the house. Normally I am not home in the morning to open the growing beds outside and the shades in the house, now I can do it on my coffee break. This should save quite a bit of money in the long run.

Corn and lettuce plants in the Yard Garden

My home office will probably continue for at least the next few months. And the dangers related to the COVID-19 virus remain, so I guess this year vacation will be in the garden. It should be a very bountiful year, if the weather cooperates.

E-Garden August 2019

The plants in the mini-bed garden did very well, and there was very little labor involved. In the beginning there were a few weeds around the plants, but eventually the plants blocked out any weed growth.

min-bed Garden August 19, 2019
mini-bed Garden

E-Garten – June 2019

So far this year we have had a good mix of sun and rain, the garden is thriving.

Overview of the E-Garden

The mini-bed garden is doing well, the only negative point that I have found, is that when I don’t munch these beds, the soil is stone-hard.

The mini-bed Section

One of my pear trees is bearing fruit for the first time.

The First Pears

May 2019 – E-Garten

This year’s E-Garden is in full bloom.

May 2019 E-Garden

This year I reduced the amount of potatoes by two beds, replacing these beds with an additional bed of strawberries and a bed of red raspberries.