Weekend Coffee Share – preparing garden beds at the allotment garden

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

My apologises for not writing a coffee share last weekend, it was crazy busy! I spent last weekend writing on my thesis, only taking short breaks.

This week has been marvellous here in Dalarna (Sweden). The weather has been mostly sunny with highs of 12-18C/53-65F. The nights are still in the 30’s, but are supposedly getting warmer this coming week (with day temperatures slightly colder than this week.)  18-21C/65-70F are my preferred temperature all year round, warmer than that is too hot if you ask me. Unfortunately this summer is supposed to be really hot, we’ll see..at least my garden will appreciate that. 

The garden isn’t that impressive right now, but taking a closer look there is a lot of life hidden here, just waiting to burst out.

All the berry bushes that I planted last summer/fall survived the crazy winter we had with many cold days, warm days (when everything thawed,) and more cold days, warm days etc. It made me happy to see that my bushes are thriving (they are an investment.) I’m planning on planting wild strawberries around all the berry bushes (red currant, black currant, gooseberry,) that are planted in garden beds, as soon as it gets a little warmer. That way I have a great and delicious ground cover, preventing unwanted weeds. 

Speaking of my garden, on Thursday they unlocked the gate to the road leading to my allotment garden. I immediately arranged to bring soil and compost there this weekend. In other words, I rented a car and prepared the bokashi compost I have at home. (I also have two regular composts at my lot in the allotment garden.) Since I only need a car every now and then it makes more since from an environmental point of view to rent a car, it’s about $35/day, instead of owning a car. Yesterday I took the bus to the rental place and picked up my car, loaded it with about 100l boakshi compost (bokashi composting is a way of turning food scraps into fermented organic matter that you can then add to your compost pile, or bury in garden beds,) and 500l organic soil. I took it up to the garden, and carefully added it to my garden beds as needed. Most of it went to the top layer of the huge hugelkulture bed I built last fall. I also had about 500l organic soil in my compost at the allotment garden that I also added to my garden beds. 

It felt so good after I finished preparing all the garden beds! After that I planted carrots in all the colour of the rainbow directly into one of the beds. I also planted some poppy seeds that a neighbour gifted me. In a couple weeks I’ll start to transplant vegetables that started their lifecycle at my balcony over to the allotment garden.

I also plan on adding 2-4 fruit trees this year. I know I want a couple apple trees. They thrive in our area and we eat a lot of apples, so it makes sense. I might add some other fruit trees as well, but apples are a priority. Some varieties of plums and cherries are also doing well in our area. I met some of my friends in the garden club for the first time this year yesterday. It was great seeing them again, and it truly was a wonderful day. 

How is your week? What have you been up to? Are you enjoying the weekend?

I’m thinking that the perfect ending to this post would be a couple cute picture updates showing the growth of my daughters Flemish Giant baby “little” Munchkin. (He was born February 9, 2023.)

Today I’m going to spend the entire day with my daughter and do little things around the house, preparing for the week to come. Somehow I have meetings every single day after work this upcoming week, it’s going to be quiet the week. Luckily next weekend is a three day weekend. Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.



Weekend Coffee Share – more seed starting

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? I can’t believe it’s already Sunday. It’s my third day off, and I also have tomorrow off. Do you usually enjoy some extra time off during Easter? Is it a holiday in your country? It is here, even though very few people actually consider themselves Christians. 

On Friday my daughter and I rented a car and drove to a small coastal town where we picked up the bunny that she’s been waiting for. It was a very nice little outing. Our main focus was to pick up the bunny. My daughter wasn’t very interested in doing anything else, since she was so excited. She’s been wanting a pet rabbit for the past two years, and now it was finally time. She talked constantly from early Friday morning until we stepped out of the car at the little farm where we got her rabbit. Everything went well, and her new little friend is settling in well. She’s made an enclosure inside her room, and is trying to teach him to use a litter-box (the type cat’s use.) Her rabbit is a Flemish Giant. They are very gentle, and they also get very big. Her rabbits mom weighs 22lbs and the dad 15lbs. The doe’s (females) are usually bigger. My daughter choose a male rabbit. She’s been bonding with her new friend the whole weekend.

How is your week? What have you been up to? 

I’ve started some more vegetables this weekend. I’ve organised my seeds, and started three different varieties of salad greens  and five different herbs at my new balcony garden. 

I’ve had my seeds in little plastic pockets made for photos for a couple years, and I decided to put them together, and organise them by season/growing conditions in a little “seed book”. That way it is easy to see what I have, and what I don’t have.

I realised that I don’t have much herbs left after planting today. I am very happy with how the little “seed book” turned out.

We still have cold nights, but the balcony is protected. I also have a shelf system from Ikea, with a plastic cover. Sort of like a very simple green house. They come in two different heights. I have the smaller one (actually two of them,) that is completely inside the balcony, the taller one would be higher than the railing. I like the shorter one since it is more protected, and I can also display plants on top of it during the summer. 

I have three planters with salad greens placed on the long side of the balcony. They are hanging from the railing. I’ve covered them in plastic for now, since I just planted them today, and we have cold nights. The seeds will germinate at the exact right time, when the temperature is right. In mid June, I’m planning on having strawberries in all the hanging planters, it’s likely going to be too warm for salad at this location then, but perfect for strawberries.

In a couple more weeks, or so, I can get started at the allotment garden. I am super excited about that! My plan was to do some work there this weekend, but I need to purchase soil and have it delivered there, or drive it there myself, and the road to the allotment garden is still locked (due to winter conditions.) I can walk there, but there isn’t much I can do without more soil. 

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. What’s happening in your garden?