This weekend I focused on slug and snail hunting, as more than half of the vegetable plants that I set out last week have been eaten by the little beasts. My perferred method is to walk around early in the morning, just after the sun comes out and slash the litte pest with my garden knife, a very satisfying method.
I also thinned out the raspberry plants, adding a new row on the edge of the buckwheat patch.
I also planted three rows of peas among the bark mulch. I am hoping the slugs will have a hard time reaching the plants once they start to grow. Probably just wishful thinking, but we’ll see.
Today its finally raining, hopefully this will spur growth of what I have planted to date.
This weekend I finished cleaning up the area around the new Espalier fruit trees. This involved removing the top layer of grass (and weeds) and digging up a large pile of roots from the many bushes that were located here. The result was quite pleasing, and hopefully I got rid of most of the weeds. Afterwards I seeded it down with some buckwheat, I find this a good way of building up the soil after removing the sod.
I also replenished the bark mulch in the two beds next to this area. Wood chips are not available in my area of Germany, so I have been trying bark mulch, which is similar. These beds will be used for cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and kale.
The garlic and red currents are looking very good. On the right under the fleece covering, is a row of peas, which are just starting to sprout.
I also set out some plants in my Minibed test garden. From front to rear, cauliflower, pointed cabbage, green cabbage and celeriac (celery root).
After planing I added some schredded leaves as a mulch, and covered them with fleece to keep the birds from eating the young plants.
I was recently inspired by Serina at one of my favorite Youtube channels “You Can’t Eat the Grass” to plant some espalier fruit trees. After seeking permission from the landowner where my garden is located, I started researching and looking for trees. It is possible to buy espalier fruit trees that have already been trained in the right shape, but these are generally quite expensive. I am in no hurry, so I decided to purchase four semi-dwarf trees and prune and train them myself.
The first step was to find a place in the garden, as I share garden space with two other families, I didn’t have a lot of choices. However, one end of my garden area borders a stone wall, is well-drained and gets sunlight most of the day.
I removed the old bushes that were there and dug out the many roots that were present. I ended up with an approximately 5 by 5 meters L-shaped growing area.
I set out three wooden poles that would eventually support the espalier trees and dug my four holes for the trees. I left about 60 cm spacing between the stone wall and trees on one side and the fence and trees on the other side of the “L”. In the space behind the trees I covered the ground with the black plastic that I had left over from my Minibed garden, and spread a layer of bark mulch over this.
I planned on planting 2 apple and 2 pear trees, but my local source didn’t have any pear trees at the moment, so I ended up buying 3 apple and 1 cherry tree. I am not sure how well the cherry tree will work as an espalier tree, but decided to give it a try. I added a generous amount of compost to the holes as I planted the trees. Next weekend I only need to run wire between the posts and finish cleanup the area in front of the trees.
The weather has been warm and sunny the last 4-5 days, so I decided to plant two beds of early potatoes and a bed of onions. I also chanced on a row of peas, covering the row with fleece to protect them from the birds and any late spring freezes.