In the garden again, finally!

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The in-laws took Blob for the afternoon and I was finally able to make some serious progress with my veggie patch this weekend. Behind the mound of soil, you can see two herb boxes which have been cleaned out and moved into their new positions for this year. The one on the left is filled with mint, lavender, sweet basil and chives currently. More herbs to join the lineup as time permits. The lavender and chives are actually leftovers from seeds I planted two years ago, believe it or not. Didn’t even notice them until I weeded all the grass out of the planters, but happily replanted them in their own sections and hope they will get bigger without all the extra competition.

One other thing to note before moving on to that giant dirt mound – it’s hard to see from this angle, but I started building a retaining wall between those two planters using dried sticks and stems gathered from around the yard. Two vertical stakesĀ keep them in place and they span the distance between the planters to keep soil from spilling through. I will be able to add more as I continue to clean up around the house, it will all biodegrade back into the garden over time, and I rather enjoy the wicker look. I hope to eventually expand the wall to entirely surround this raised veggie bed, but will take what I can get at the moment.

So that large soil mound. Bottom layer is a pile of rabbit droppings and newspaper a foot thick, stacked up and decomposed over the winter, providing plenty of fertilizer for growing healthy roots. A few bags of old potting soil from various sources went over that as filler, followed by a couple new bags to provide a nice, clean top layer for planting. I only managed to plant half the bed before running out of topsoil, so will do the other half later this week. So far, I have:

– One row of “Rainbow” carrots from Thompson and Morgan. This is my third year planting these — I really enjoy the color variety in salads and soups. Sometimes I toss some purple carrot seed in as well to make the mix even wilder.

– One row of “Lollo Rossa” lettuce from Weibulls. I think I’ve planted this almost every year since moving to Finland, since it is one of the easiest to find packets at the stores I frequent. Also, because it’s a really reliable and tasty lettuce which stands up well to my plucking random leaves for daily salads. I will usually stagger lettuce plantings every other week so that there will be plenty to harvest as each row is grazed.

– Three rows of “Matador” spinach from Nelson. Because I’m a bit of a spinach addict and use it in countless ways. No matter who much I plant and freeze every year, I still end up having to supplement with those frozen supermarket cubes at some point in the year. One day, I hope to grow enough to supply my demand. However, given that we have a new addition who will most likely also take a liking to this vegetable, that day might be in the far distant future. I plan to give it a try this year, though, by planting a few rows every few weeks across multiple beds. Different varieties, too, to spice things up a bit. Mmmm, spinach.

More to come as I attempt to tame the jungle that I let develop over the last couple of years šŸ™‚ Hope everybody has been getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather as well!

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