So today the nightly temperatures of below zero (celsius) finally seemed to be done with… The perfect time to plant some more veggies outside! Today, we planted potatoes, tomatoes and some herbs : )
And the potatoes needed to go into the ground very badly. And that’s completely our fault as well.
We ordered our seeds – including potatoes – at the end of January/beginning of February. In order to get potatoes to germinate at the right time, you have to store them in a cool and dark place – but the cool, dark place we had for them apparently didn’t suffice. Because of that, they already had developed chalks of 5 – 15 centimeters, and their nutrition supplies were starting to grow thin… quite literally.
So, lets start planting potatoes! First, we figured out where we wanted them. Potatoes need a lot of sunlight, so we had to put them somewhere where they wouldn’t get too much shade of other plants. They’re also plants that grow big, so they would also need a place where they wouldn’t create too much shade for other plants.
We decided to plant a couple rows of potatoes near the south-western side of the vegetable garden patch. We would leave some room for a row of tomato plants, but other than that they wouldn’t catch much shade. It would also leave plenty of space for other sun-loving plants on the middle of the patch.
We created a straight line and dug a trench of about 10 cm depth using a tensioned string to dig straight. Then, we put the potatoes inside the trench with 30 centimeters between them with the chalks pointing upward.
We covered them gently with soil so the chalks wouldn’t break. After that, we filled up the trench and started on the next one. We left 60 centimeters space between the rows to give the potato plants plenty of space to grow.
Our potatoes filled 4 rows of 14 potatoes each, so in the end we planted 56 potatoes. If every plant survives, they should each yield about 1.5 kg of potato, so that’ll be approximately 75 kg of potato when it’s harvest season.. I’ll have to figure out before autumn how to store them : )
We seeded the tomatoes inside so they could grow a bit before being planted in the garden. They are doing great, but the terracotta pots are starting to get a bit small… And we don’t have enough pots that are bigger sized. In more normal times, we’d go to a store to buy more, but with COVID19 in the country and the advice being to stay at home as much as you can we didn’t want to do that. So we improvise : )
Although it’s a bit too early in the season for tomatoes to be planted outside, we decided we’d try it anyway. Luckily, we have plenty of plants so if this experiment fails we’ll still have plenty of plants left. Out of our 11 Roma tomato plants, the four biggest plants were chosen to go outside.
Again, we used to rope to create a straight line and dug holes where the tomatoes should be planted. They need about 50 centimeters between plants, so we did exactly that. It seems to be a lot of space at the moment, I wonder if they’ll really use it : )
The plants were a bit wobbly, probably because they don’t have a stable root system yet, so we decided to give them some support. Again, we didn’t have any “real” support sticks, so we improvised.
We have a pond in our garden with reed growing in it. Some time ago we pruned it, and we had a stash of reed canes lying around. They seemed to be the perfect support sticks! When we tried it however, the reed canes were a bit wobbly themselves. So we bound a couple of them together and used that as a support. So far it seems to be working wonderfully!
Herbs and others : )
For the herbs I had a bit of the same dilemma as I had with the tomatoes. On one hand, they need more space to grow and on the other hand we can’t be sure the weather remains good enough for them to go outside. I also decided similar – I planted half of them outside (and sowed some more outside, just in case) and the other half remains some longer in the windowsills.
For the herbs we dug a new patch, so they would have enough sun and we would have enough space in the main patch for the veggies : )
In the front is the new herb patch, and behind you can see another extra patch in which zucchini has been planted. The herb patch is approximately 1 meter wide and 2 meters long. So far I planted LOTS of dill and basil (front left and right), some thyme (middle), rosemary and lavender (back). Since I ran out of plastic signs to mark the rows, I used pieces of reed. I hope they won’t compost too fast… : )
I also planted the parsley outside, but it’s in the main patch between the chives bushes. There was some free space there that would’ve otherwise been wasted.
I’m starting to get pretty proud of our vegetable garden, I feel like it’s really going to be useful when all plants are producing. I’ve already caught myself looking into ways to preserve and store produce : )
I also updated the schematic I created to have an overview of what’s growing where. The one for the herb patch didn’t turn out to be quite as visually appealing as the other one, but in the end it’s about being useful. ; )
Lastly, an overview of the western side of the vegetable garden patch. The chives is growing like crazy, and some lavas has emerged from the ground. And yes, the kale has overgrown like crazy but we leave it in until we need the space : )
I wonder which plants will need to go outside next…