Ever since we got the keys to our home, the vegetable garden hadn’t been tended. Maybe it hadn’t been tended by the previous owners for some time as well, but we never asked : ) There were some vegetables still thriving in there – mostly kale, carrots and beets – but the patch had completely been overgrown with weeds:
Until now the weather had been horrible – it was autumn all over again with lots and lots of rain, storms and low temperatures – but the weather had recently turned better. With the seedlings steadily growing inside, I decided it was about time to prepare the patch. Since we wouldn’t move it and it’s size would be good enough – for some time at least – all I had to do was to make sure to remove the weeds so the soil was ready for new plants!
Harvesting last years leftovers
The first thing I did was harvesting the vegetables that were still in the garden. There were still edible leaves on the kale, so I started with harvesting those. There’s about 9 stalks of kale in there, but after harvesting the third stalk my bucket was overflowing with kale. We also only have a tiny freezer – one that consists of just 3 small drawers – so I left the rest of the kale in there for now.
Next step – harvesting the beets and carrots. I started with the beets, but sadly they were all partly eaten by the deer that visit our land sometimes. What was left of the beets would go to our composting bin. The carrots were mostly in good shape, although some had been affected by worms. The affected carrots accompanied the beets to the composting bin, and the good looking carrots found they way into another bucket : ) In the end, I had quite some harvest!
After washing and cutting up the kale we had about 2,5 kilograms left to put into our freezer to be eaten another day. The carrots made a nice meal that same day. Homegrown carrots really do taste better than the ones we usually buy in the shop! I hope the ones we’re gonna grow ourselves this year will taste as good : )
I’ll be honest here: I didn’t look forward to weeding. The patch is huge, and it was overflowing with weeds. Not to mention my physical condition isn’t the best. So, I took a huge breath… and went to grab the tools. I thought I’d need the wheelbarrow, hoe, cultivator and a bucket so I grabbed those from our shack. It didn’t take much time for me to realize I’d need gloves as well, so I went to grab those as well : )
My general plan was to start at one corner of the patch, and work my way inward – one square meter at the time. After taking one more deep breath I started working. I used the hoe to loosen up the soil and weeds, then manually picked the weeds and put them in the bucket. Once the bucket was full I emptied it in the wheelbarrow. Rinse and repeat. When the wheelbarrow was full, I emptied that in the composting bin.
Once I had a general idea of what I was doing, the work became strangely therapeutic. Hours flew by without me even realizing it. In the end, I had removed about 6 wheelbarrows of weed from the patch – and boy, did I feel my muscles! But, I DID remove ALL the weeds from the patch, and I was proud of myself : )
I decided to call it a day, and finish up work the next day. And despite my aching muscles, I did : ) Using the cultivator I loosened up the soil some more, and tried to even everything out. I weeded some more since I had missed a couple of spots the previous day, but it wasn’t too bad. A couple hours later I was amazed of the results:
As you can see the kale’s still there. I also found a couple bushes of chives and some strawberry plants hiding between the weeds. Since those plants were already on my wishlist I left them where they grew. I could always rehouse them if we need their spot for something else : )
The seedlings are doing well, too. Especially the tomatoes, it won’t be much longer till they either need a bigger pot, or to be planted outside. In the meantime we also planted zucchini, cayenne pepper, cabbages, parsley and some lettuce.
Next up to plant are the unions, carrots, and probably some spinach, arugula and brussels sprouts. These need to be planted outside around this time of year, and now the garden is ready for them!
Keep you posted! : )