Weekend Coffee Share – green dreams of the week

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? 

When I lived in California I learned how useful it is to use ollas in the garden. I looked for, and found a pottery here in Sweden that makes them. I ordered two ollas and they arrived earlier this week. I’m so excited! The plan is to bury them next to the apple trees I am going to plant by the end of May. So practical for those busy days when I don’t make it up to the garden. 

The self-watering clay pots are buried up to their necks in the soil and can then be filled with water. Due to the porous walls of the unglazed clay, the water is released slowly and continuously into the soil. Olla irrigation works through soil moisture tension, also called suction tension. The tension increases as the soil dries out (i.e. dry soil has a greater capacity to absorb water). When the suction tension in the soil is greater than that of the clay pot, it pulls water from the olla. Once the soil is moist, the suction tension is no longer greater outside of the olla pot, and no more water is pulled from the olla. The pots provide a self-watering system, as long as the olla pot has water in it. It is also a way of saving water, you only water the roots of your plants, and all the water goes towards that plant (you do not water any weeds.)

Besides that I planted wild strawberries and celery this week. The wild strawberries are in two big tubs in a sunny windowsill, and the celery is in one huge tub at the balcony. Eventually most of it is going to the allotment garden (the wild strawberries are going to serve as a ground cover surrounding my berry bushes,) I’ll probably keep a few plants at the balcony for easy access. I just have to be careful to not over do it at the balcony…I sometimes have a tendency to do so. I only need a few herbs there, some tomatoes (I know I said I wasn’t going to grow tomatoes this year, but I changed my mind,) and of course everyone need salad greens close by, right?

This cilantro (photo 1) and salad greens (photo 2,3) was planted outside from seed while we still had freezing temperatures. Everything is starting to come alive now, and I am expecting a lot of growth this coming week with rising temperatures. It is likely to be the first week with consistent lows over 30F/0C.

I clipped my green onions for the third time yesterday. They were delicious on our pizza last night. The plants are going to the allotment garden next weekend. I have around 100 green onion plants, if I count all the different varieties. I’ve been reading up on companion planting, something I am a big fan of. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to plant green onions next to my carrots, strawberry, salad, and celery.

I have winter squash growing inside in a window sill, and outside at the balcony (in a mini greenhouse.) The ones above are growing at the balcony, they are smaller than the ones growing inside, but still full of life. I also have a variety of a yellow summer squash growing inside. All the squash is going to the allotment garden.

I have one pumpkin seed for a giant pumpkin that I haven’t started yet. I purchased one seed from the man who grew the largest pumpkin in Sweden last year (it’s a yearly competition.) I am going to plant that seed in the middle of May, to make sure I don’t plant it too early. The soil temperature has to be warm enough to plant outside when it is ready to be planted. It is a fast growing variety, and I can not keep it inside when it starts to grow. I’m not super serious about growing the largest pumpkin, it’s more of a fun thing. I am a member of a Facebook group for people that grows giant pumpkins and some are very serious about it!

Yesterday I accidentally stumbled upon an ad for a garden center for sale about one hour from here. It is a marvellous organic garden, with several green houses, a cute little farm shop, fields for larger crops, and an established thriving business that comes with the deal. My fingers are itching! However, I do not have an extra 200K (very reasonably prices I think.) If I did I would invest it here.

How is your week? What have you been up to? Are you enjoying the weekend? Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.



Weekend Coffee Share – when life throws you a curve ball

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea?  We’ve had a cold week with lots of snow! At the moment spring is trying to take over, and we enjoyed a high in the upper 40’s today. What’s the weather like in your area?  

A while back my daughter was diagnosed with autism, I have not mentioned it before since my thoughts have been all over the place trying to grasp the situation and what it might mean for us. I’ve been making adjustments to make things easier for her for a long time, but these past two years many things have escalated. When she finally got diagnosed it was both a relief, for her and me, and a new beginning in some ways. An acceptance of change. I am looking into if there is anything more that can be done to help her. Her school have been wonderful with all of this and I could not be more happy with their help. I am considering pausing my own studies for now. I already have a useful degree, and a great job. I haven’t made the final decision yet, but I am considering if it would be wiser to write my master thesis some time in the future, to be able to stay in the present moment and really be there for her. On the other hand it’s only six months left, and I’ve worked so hard. Six month is in a way a very short amount of time, and in another way a very long time. So much to consider. My thoughts are constantly with my daughter when I’m not with her. How is she doing? Am I pushing her too hard? I’m taking some time to think about all this before making any drastic changes (like dropping out of school.) That said, she is my number one priority in all of this. If my daughter can feel good about herself and positive for the future I am happy, that is my number one wish. 

I mentioned the weather in the beginning of the post, and it has been crazy this week! So much snow, after t-shirt weather last weekend. Crazy! The snow is gone now, and it doesn’t look like we are getting any more snow. I hope the forecast is correct. Spring is a time of hope and my garden is the most exciting thing at the moment. 

How is your week? What have you been up to? Are you enjoying the weekend? Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.