SelfSufficiant Gardenventure in eastern Germany

Lunai

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G'day erveryone!

in this thread I want to share the hapenings and decissions in our shared Garden on our way to get more SelfSufficient with Veggies and some fruits.

I have a current picture of the planned layout of the veggie/fruit part of our Garden:
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20221023_145032.jpg

Black lines are wat is already set and done, the lead pencil lines are what is planned, the pink ones can be ignored.
As fruit trees we have currently:
2 apple
1 sour-cherry
1 peach
1 plum
1 apricot

Because the Land is rented from a club there are some rules we have to abide by. The easiest one is the 1/3 Rule:

1/3 of the land is for ornamental (hedges, flowerbeds, ponds)
1/3 of the land is for recreation (lawn, pool, small houses, sheds etc.)
1/3 of the land is for cultivation/agriculture (veggies, berries, fruittrees, nuttreas etc)

thats messured pretty roughly and if one wants more space for cultivation, no one cares a bit if you shrinks down the ornamental part for example ...

And thats exactly what we are planning to do right at the moment. With building some Raised beds and defining the groundbeds anew.

Raised Bed no1 was finished 3 weeks ago- just some spare rocks and some leftover wood from behind the shed, screwed together and voila
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IMG-20221009-WA0025.jpeg


Raised Bed no2 went in straight after the first one. There were some PlantingStones (don't know if they exist in the US or down under, or if that is even a name) in the middle of part of the lawn left from the lady before us, and they were just in the way. And then there were some slightly bigger ones in the corner where we use to sit, just taking space away and needed to be placed somwhere else anyway.
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IMG-20221019-WA0010.jpeg


Then I startet defining the first groundbeds behind raised bed no2, using some sticks and string to get it almost straight. Just today finished digging horsemanure into two of those 3 parts.
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IMG-20221010-WA0015.jpeg

20221023_110646.jpg

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20221023_141843.jpg

And because I had Time left I decided to move the small Plumtree to a slightly better position... almost bit more off with that than what I could chew but nonetheless nailed it.
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20221023_140238.jpg

And finally took my sticks and thread and started the layout of the rest of the ground beds for the side of the plumtree.
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20221023_140139.jpg

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20221023_140148.jpg
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20221023_140201.jpg

Enough for today... my back hurts πŸ€£πŸ™ˆ getting old πŸ˜…πŸ™ˆ but jokes aside that was a pretty heavy workout today...
 
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Lunai

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Here are some planned/ upcoming projects, which might change as we build but are there anyway to start with and giv us a direction:

  • take out those two sick peach trees
  • plant a duo sweet-cherry tree (with those duo trees you donΒ΄t have to look for another tre of the same Sort in the vacinity for pollination, cause not every cherrytree im compatible with each other)
  • extend the righthandside veggie groundbeds up to the Aprikot tree and turn those grass patches
  • Add 3-6 raised gardenbeds
  • add a selfwatering system preferrably drip irrigation
  • get some more Horsemanure from Ines, that's some really good stuff

and finally some stuff regarding more of the recreational area of the property:
  • renovate the interior of the cottage (fresh wallpaint, floorcoverings etc.)
  • get a stone grill
  • get a bigger pool
  • extend and open up the patio
  • prop up the strawtargets for some archery practise space and hang up the arrow catching mat behind
  • build a bridge over the pond
  • construct a wall around the well
 
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Mandy Onderwater

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Wow! Loving the plans and the progress! Looks like there will be an amazing garden coming...

It might just be the pictures, but the soil does looks like it's a little nutrient-deprived. I would definitely recommend some compost and/or manure. Do be aware that fresh manure can contain bacteria (or so I hear) and burn your plants. I've been told that using aged manure is better in active beds.
Personally, I've dug some fresh manure in an area in my garden that I've been letting rest and am trying to revive. It's been overgrown with weeds and the soil looked absolutely horrible. I'm hoping to slowly amend it by adding manure over the course of a couple months and let the rain (or my sprinkler) slowly soak it in. I'm not intending to plant in it short-term.

Your raised beds' soil does look pretty good (at the very least compared to the ground itself).

Were those peach trees there before you got there?

Don't necessarily mind my warnings too much, I am a relatively new gardener too, as I believe I am in my second year now. I'm still learning as I go too, hah. Plenty people do use fresh manure and/or even water fresh manure down to use a watering can to put it directly into their soil.

Either way I love the show and tell! I'd love to see more :D
Happy gardening!
 

Lunai

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Wow! Loving the plans and the progress! Looks like there will be an amazing garden coming...

It might just be the pictures, but the soil does looks like it's a little nutrient-deprived. I would definitely recommend some compost and/or manure. Do be aware that fresh manure can contain bacteria (or so I hear) and burn your plants. I've been told that using aged manure is better in active beds.
Personally, I've dug some fresh manure in an area in my garden that I've been letting rest and am trying to revive. It's been overgrown with weeds and the soil looked absolutely horrible. I'm hoping to slowly amend it by adding manure over the course of a couple months and let the rain (or my sprinkler) slowly soak it in. I'm not intending to plant in it short-term.

Your raised beds' soil does look pretty good (at the very least compared to the ground itself).

Were those peach trees there before you got there?

Don't necessarily mind my warnings too much, I am a relatively new gardener too, as I believe I am in my second year now. I'm still learning as I go too, hah. Plenty people do use fresh manure and/or even water fresh manure down to use a watering can to put it directly into their soil.

Either way I love the show and tell! I'd love to see more :D
Happy gardening!
Thanks Mandy πŸ₯°

you're right about the manure. the beds I've dug that in will rest till february or even later when our next growing season will beginn (last year mid feb we had about 1 m snow so....) And thats what will happen to the other planned groundbeds too. Manure dug in and sleep well till feb-mar2023πŸ₯±πŸ˜΄.

The soil in the raised beds looks a bit better because I've dug in some compost in one and the other has a mix of groundsoil and Planting mixfrom that flowerbed I stripped offf of the patio.

The Soil on the ground looks worse than it is. while digging in the manure I've found a ton of worms.

The raised beds are all built like a compost pile. (branches and twigs on the ground, a ton of green cuttings on top, some fresh compost, a thin layer of soil, then some aged compost mixed in with the top layer of soil) the lower raised stonebed has just thujabranches for about 20 cm at the bottom, some old tomatoplants and then grasscutting and leaves before the soil, dindn't have that much space to layer probberly in that oneπŸ˜…πŸ€” Yes there will be a lot of sinkage over time, and there will be heat regenerated, but for our climate here that's optimal, becouse it extends our growingseason reasonably.

The Trees were all there, planted from the lady before us. (she was the one who planted the plum 2m next to the greenhouseπŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ)
But the peachtrees are pretty sick and two of the 3 are standing in a bad place too, right next to the cottages of the neighboring properties to our right and behind.... and we just don't eat that much peaches.... so those two have to go.
but we will keep 3 Apples, 1 peach, 1 apricot, 1 plum, 1 sour-cherry and the then new sweet-cherry. That'll be quite enough with trees and big stuff😁 the garden is just 600qm after all.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Aah yes. That'd be all right then I'd say.

Yeah I bet that worked a charm. You can tell the difference in colour and texture; it looks much healthier.

Must just be some heavy soil then, it looks somewhat clay-like. Ours is too, though it definitely needs some more compost/manure before I'd have plants thriving rather than surviving.

Kind of sounds like hugelkultur. It can be very effective, especially as it'll gradually break down. Sinkage is to be expected in any (raised) bed, really. And most people like digging the soil over and/or adding some compost/manure to it to bring back some more nutrients. I know Mark sometimes fills the beds with some quality bagged soil if they've really sank a lot (if memory serves me right it's Searles Premium Potting Mix, the same I use and love).

Ahh fair enough. It'll at least save a couple years before they'd start fruiting. if you wanted them.
Sounds awesome! I'm jealous! I hope to one day have fruit trees too. Currently I have a little lemonade tree that'd now growing it's first-ever fruit :D
 

Lunai

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Aah yes. That'd be all right then I'd say.

Yeah I bet that worked a charm. You can tell the difference in colour and texture; it looks much healthier.

Must just be some heavy soil then, it looks somewhat clay-like. Ours is too, though it definitely needs some more compost/manure before I'd have plants thriving rather than surviving.

Kind of sounds like hugelkultur. It can be very effective, especially as it'll gradually break down. Sinkage is to be expected in any (raised) bed, really. And most people like digging the soil over and/or adding some compost/manure to it to bring back some more nutrients. I know Mark sometimes fills the beds with some quality bagged soil if they've really sank a lot (if memory serves me right it's Searles Premium Potting Mix, the same I use and love).

Ahh fair enough. It'll at least save a couple years before they'd start fruiting. if you wanted them.
Sounds awesome! I'm jealous! I hope to one day have fruit trees too. Currently I have a little lemonade tree that'd now growing it's first-ever fruit :D
we have aroud 20-40cm topsoil before pure yellov-orange clay, should try to do some pottering with itπŸ˜…πŸ€ͺ🀣

and well it's the only affordable/cheap filling for a raised bed right nowπŸ˜… right now everything that's getting snipped and snapped just wanders straight into the raised beds, with those 2 trees it woud be way too much for our kompost space anyway.

yes, the trees are all old enough to bear fruits except the Plum (which is more of a wild variety cause it has thorns)
 

Lunai

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What I did to the groundbeds in prepping them gor the next growing season starting March 2023:
20221023_105440.jpg

I dug one row after the other, just one spades deep (max 20cm), filld each row with leaves or greencuttings/weeds plus some Horsemanuer (poo mixed with straw and soredust) and covered it up again
20221023_110646.jpg

20221023_113009.jpg

you can actually start to see, the color change in this last one, from topsoil to the more orange-ish one deeper down. It's not dry at all, it's quite heavy and moist at the moment and I actually found a ton of worms while digging. The apple tree seen in the left corner is the early ripening one (though I don't know the actual name of it)
I did 5 Rows in total to give the worms plenty of food over Winter. Lastly I placed the last few missing curbstones on the right side next to the raisedbed (5 1/2 in total)
20221023_123257.jpg

so the total measure of this groundbed is: about 2,5m X 3m
 
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Lunai

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What I did to the patio:

IMG-20220913-WA0025.jpeg

that's what it looked before I removed that flower bed which just got mostly overtaken from the Nasturtium (I think thats the word πŸ˜…)

IMG-20221008-WA0009.jpeg


In total there where 8 Wheelborrows full of earth in there, not counted the earth in those stonerings (that was dry af so I just left it in them)

IMG-20221016-WA0017.jpeg


stacked two planterstones/ringstones on top of each other so that the flower has more space to grow (actually there are two, one white, one red)

paved the new space with some spare stonetiles and filled the gaps with gravel.

all in all that gives us an extra 70cm of space to move the furniture around, or rather move around the furniture 🀣😁 our bellies are not getting thinnerπŸ˜‰

Eventually the watertank in the corner will have to go too, but it's full at the moment, so that's for another day.
 
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Lunai

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Our neighbor to the right told us, that if we want we could have some of her herbs, besides the thyme, but that decided to grow through the fence anyway and is now growing more on our side than hers🀣
Took some out to freeze at home and some with roots to plant in pots for the winter and replanted into the garden in spring.
And pushed the remaining majority back to the original garden.

I'm looking forward to get some really nice peppermint from her as well😍

20221024_170644.jpg


And I was able to get two buckets full of Jerusalem artichoke (topinambur) for free. The lady I got it from, I already knew from last year where she gave away some yellow flowering plant for the pond to grow in and I remembered, that she had a whole bunch of Jerusalem artichoke. So this year I just asked her if I could have some. didn't think she would fill up both buckets almost to the top tho πŸ˜πŸ˜…πŸ˜ which I love. I'm looking for an 3ven greater harvest next year. I'm gonna plant them in a somewhat contained space tho, cause they use to grow like weed in our climate πŸ˜…

I know that in the region where I grew up in south-west germany, Jerusalem artichoke was a real lifesaver thing for sone people back in the days after the war when my grandparents grew up. Everyone had a patch of land or garden with it, cause it does not have to be maintained, looks nice when blooming (2m tall, looks a bit like small sunflowers), and doesn't use up storage space. You leave it right where it grows and just take out what you need, when and if you need, otherwise it just comes back the next year and grows even more. Even before WW1+2 and before the potato was introduced to Europe it was a main source to eat (together with grain, which is the only native source of carbs of Europe as far as I know) especially for the poor and people living out in the country. They even did (actually still do) produce a kind of spirit out of it (like vodka, which is made out of potatoes, just made out of topinambur and called by that name in South Germany) and producing a spirit out of something tells you how much of it grow in that area.... cause it's not flavored after, it's produced out of πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ big difference.
But it has been forgotten almost completely today from the vast majority. Some here and there can still name the plant when they see the flower, some recognize the name when they hear it, but almost no one knows that you can actually eat the tubers like a carrot. And I'm comparing it to a carrot because you can actually eat Jerusalem artichoke raw and cooked/fried, just like a carrot. It has a lot of fibers in it so be prepared to eventually fart if you're not used to a fiber rich diet, but well it's healthy, and it does taste raw a bit like kohlrabi ( think cabbage turnip is the translation, not sure) but has no strong taste on its own.
20221024_171923.jpg
 
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Mandy Onderwater

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Ooh! Loving it!

Soil can be amended over time as well, so long as there are beginnings to work from. Don't forget that digging in kitchen scraps can also help loads! They'll slowly decompose and turn into plant food themselves once more. On top of that, it'll also be worm food. Happy worms, happy beds.
There are also crops you can grow that can be dug back into the soil. And other plants can provide nutrients to the soil by simply being alive (beans for example provide nitrogen).

Actually a good article that covers some bases as well;

Such a sweet neighbour! You could really benefit from each other that way. You get some herbs and whatnot, she can perhaps have any excess (like the peaches, haha).
Mint is a huge weed here (oregano and such alike). They grow, and grow, and grow, and hey, there's some more over there now too! I potentially have made the mistake of planting mint directly in the soil already, but thankfully I usually mow the surroundings, so I hope it's not going to go out of hand too much. And it's a lovely smell when I mow over it.
I don't think I've actually ever eaten Jerusalem artichoke.

Loving the pictures and the updates 😍
 

Lunai

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What's currently in our greenhouse? Does it produce anything worthy naming?


Well yes, not much variety but loads of those few.
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20221027_174823.jpg



On the left side we have some spinach in the 1st row, 2nd and 3rd row are at the front the remaining pointed cabbage seedlings and behind that are some radishes with the German word for icicle.

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20221027_181411.jpg

20221027_182827.jpg


.At the back an around the corner to the right ther is dome chard, below that there is some endive 4, a few stray cabbage plants and the last aubergine and chili plant.

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20221027_182021.jpg



The harvest yesterday gave me about 90g of spinach, and 99g of chard, together that was half a bucket full. Stuff doesn't weigh anythingπŸ˜…. Which together became the power veggie on our evening meal.

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20221027_182408.jpg

20221027_183431.jpg


The icicle radishes are just starting to form, but I had to thin them out, cause I oversowed πŸ˜…πŸ˜ any leftover green stuff goes to mister Calcifer the bunny which I realize I didn't introduce yet 😱
 
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Lunai

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Ooh! Loving it!

Soil can be amended over time as well, so long as there are beginnings to work from. Don't forget that digging in kitchen scraps can also help loads! They'll slowly decompose and turn into plant food themselves once more. On top of that, it'll also be worm food. Happy worms, happy beds.
There are also crops you can grow that can be dug back into the soil. And other plants can provide nutrients to the soil by simply being alive (beans for example provide nitrogen).

Actually a good article that covers some bases as well;

Such a sweet neighbour! You could really benefit from each other that way. You get some herbs and whatnot, she can perhaps have any excess (like the peaches, haha).
Mint is a huge weed here (oregano and such alike). They grow, and grow, and grow, and hey, there's some more over there now too! I potentially have made the mistake of planting mint directly in the soil already, but thankfully I usually mow the surroundings, so I hope it's not going to go out of hand too much. And it's a lovely smell when I mow over it.
I don't think I've actually ever eaten Jerusalem artichoke.

Loving the pictures and the updates 😍
Yes they are really lovely πŸ₯° but sadly they're getting to old for their garden. They have their patch of land sice 1983!😳 can you belive it? But now her husband is getting sick and she can't always walk that good so they are thinking of selling everything. Anyway, before that happens she would give us some autumn flowers and herbs and what-not else 😍πŸ₯°

Yes, almost every type of mint is like a weed, here too. I already have some ananas mint and some lemon balm in those stone rings, and that's all the space they gonna get πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰
The peppermint will also get a confined space otherwise we'll never get it out again.
The thyme is also growing like a weed, but we plan on using it as a weed suppressant around taller flowers.

The soil... yes I'm working on it. But it's impractical to take citchenscraps to the garden ( a good 25 min walk) so that's a bit limited.
The plants that get dug back into the soil are well and good, but around here they are really expensive if you don't happen to know someone who purchases them for the big agriculture πŸ˜… 1 packet of seeds for lupine costs almost 30€ for 200 seedsπŸ™ˆ
But I plan on planting a lot of beans next year in mixed culture. They will be everywhere 🀣 they are good companionplants for almost all other veggies. And I'm planning to plant some marrygold in between the potatoes so that they won't get eaten again from the potato bugs, don't want to and don't have time to pick 2buckets a day from the plants... πŸ™„
 
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Mandy Onderwater

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The greenhouse looks great!
Yeah leaves weigh very little. You'd think you have loads, but they are very light so it also seems like very little. I bet the bunny doesn't mind eating the excess though ;)

Aw, sadly that happens. I live with granddad-in-law and he'd fully given up on growing things. And every since I started a little potted garden he's bought himself some plants (which admittedly, I take care of more than he does). But that way we can share a passion. I enjoy growing fruit & Veg (and some flowers) and he more enjoys growing ornamental plants like ferns, maidenhair and trees. All good though. I've built him a little table where his maidenhair and fern stand on, and I've kept his little tree on the ground, which admittedly needs to be repotted again. I just don't have any good soil to spare and I'd rather not use the really heavy soil I have got as I feel it'd damage (or even kill) the tree - one already died because they seem to really attract tons and tons of aphids. It's been a struggle, but I try, haha.

Ooh! What does ananas mint smell like? I assume it smells like a really fresh/minty pineapple. I'd never heard of it before.
Smart thinking on the thyme! Does it work that well? I might consider it...

Friends of mine keep a scraps bin that's mostly airtight. I believe she empties it whenever she feels like it, which can range from 2 days to at most 2 weeks. I'm still very surprised it never really smells as it's kept in the kitchen, but I assume that the airtightness may have something to do with that.
I didn't know that cover crops were that expensive. Here in our region they use soybean as cover crop for sugar cane. They dig it back in after the plant matures, I believe. This article seems to cover it. It really isn't all that expensive as a whole kilo bag is only around AU$8, which is often more than enough for a hobby gardener. Any other cover crops I find easily available are generally around AU$6 per 10m2. Though, of course, seeing as you are in a different country it might be less/differently available.
 

Lunai

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The greenhouse looks great!
Yeah leaves weigh very little. You'd think you have loads, but they are very light so it also seems like very little. I bet the bunny doesn't mind eating the excess though ;)

Aw, sadly that happens. I live with granddad-in-law and he'd fully given up on growing things. And every since I started a little potted garden he's bought himself some plants (which admittedly, I take care of more than he does). But that way we can share a passion. I enjoy growing fruit & Veg (and some flowers) and he more enjoys growing ornamental plants like ferns, maidenhair and trees. All good though. I've built him a little table where his maidenhair and fern stand on, and I've kept his little tree on the ground, which admittedly needs to be repotted again. I just don't have any good soil to spare and I'd rather not use the really heavy soil I have got as I feel it'd damage (or even kill) the tree - one already died because they seem to really attract tons and tons of aphids. It's been a struggle, but I try, haha.

Ooh! What does ananas mint smell like? I assume it smells like a really fresh/minty pineapple. I'd never heard of it before.
Smart thinking on the thyme! Does it work that well? I might consider it...

Friends of mine keep a scraps bin that's mostly airtight. I believe she empties it whenever she feels like it, which can range from 2 days to at most 2 weeks. I'm still very surprised it never really smells as it's kept in the kitchen, but I assume that the airtightness may have something to do with that.
I didn't know that cover crops were that expensive. Here in our region they use soybean as cover crop for sugar cane. They dig it back in after the plant matures, I believe. This article seems to cover it. It really isn't all that expensive as a whole kilo bag is only around AU$8, which is often more than enough for a hobby gardener. Any other cover crops I find easily available are generally around AU$6 per 10m2. Though, of course, seeing as you are in a different country it might be less/differently available.
yeah the corver crops sold in our stores are way too expensive... I could buy the via amazon... but I'm trying not to buy something online, when I can buy It lokal, at least if it's not essential...
With the kitchen scarps I'm also just lazy afπŸ˜‚ we already have 3 Bins (paper, plastic, and in our case the black bin, or ash bin where everything else goes into, but still no batteries for ex.) to divide our waste into, and although elsewhere in Germany they have a 4th bin regularly (thats then the green/brown bin or Bio bin as we call it, actually just kitchen scraps and compostable stuff), well like I said... lazy af🀣 (just for info: paper and plastic bin are free of fee,we don't have to pay for them being emptied, the black bin on the otherhand costs around 3€ per clearance and the Bio bin usually is a bit lower set than that. The plasic bin has a schedule of clearance every 2 weeks, the paper bin of once per month and the black bin is also scheduled every 2 weeks, so you can decide freely when to put out your trash bin on the sidewalk to be emptied.)

The ananas mint doesn't smell taht much different to other mint, but I'm not a strong smeller in any case, and I haven't tasted it so far. it looks a bit different tho.
IMG-20221029-WA0006.jpg


The thyme... should work great. have seen it at another garden on the verry front flowerbed, try to catch a pic of that as well.
There it is. The walkway is to the right side of the fence.
IMG-20221029-WA0004.jpg

I hear you... trees, even the smallest, are difficult to ceep in pots... I have a small red currant and a Gooseberry on my balcony, but they're going into the garden cause they need too much water on my southfacing balcony, practically there is sun from dusk till dawn, so it's getting pretty hot out there) Did he try some hibiscus? I found them to be the easiest tree-type Ornamentals to ceep in pots. they just need good drainage and good axcess to water and they're happy. We have some in our garden and I'm trying to get some seedlings of a giant Hibiscus (flowers are around 30cm diameter) right now. I used to have a more indoor type hibiscus that sadly died out this summer, but I guess it was just getting old (around 40 yo). was the last plant left from my mum and she already had it for a long time and since I'm 30 now... well that thing was OLD.
 
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DThille

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30...not much older than our daughter, so that's not old.

I'm enjoying this thread...your climate is more similar to ours than Australia, but I suspect not quite as cold in winter. At the very least I'd expect it to be considered a continental climate. I'm also enjoying the name / language similarities and differences. Ananas mint for example when ananas is French for pineapple.

Using planters as the sides of a raised bed is brilliant. When planning the in-ground beds, you may want to consider pathways as 2.5 m wide will be too far to reach across. Something to think about is using "permanent" paths and either mulch those or lay down some paving stones or similar. That way, you won't be compacting the soil you are amending and you won't be amending the soil you are compacting and not growing in.

The technique you used with the in-ground beds is referred to as trench composting.

We tried some of the icicle radishes this year...I'm pretty sure I planted them too late for them to do much. I'll be checking on the remnants of our radishes tomorrow and hopefully there will be something to salvage.

I'm wondering if you can push the 1/3 rule - many edible plants are attractive and could be considered ornamental...something like the Jerusalem artichoke (also known as sunchoke here). I'll be planting some next year as it is one of the few perennial vegetables that survive our climate. Even fruit trees that flower in spring are quite attractive. I've started taking a permaculture design course and one of the ideas is to "stack" yields - that is, ideally have plants that serve more than one purpose. Even within the 1/3 idea, having flowering plants for your ornamental piece is valuable to attract pollinators (bees, moths, butterflies, some birds like hummingbirds) so long as you choose appropriate varieties. For example, many pollinators prefer single flowers rather than double or more complex ornamental flowers. You could also research shrubs or trees (like the eleagnus family) that are nitrogen-fixing which could fill the ornamental niche, but also be beneficial to your garden overall by adding nitrogen to the soil.

I can start our earliest plants in Feb/Mar...but that's indoors. Our last spring frost date is around mid-May, so there are many vegetables we can't set out before then. I'm jealous.

My paternal family was in the Alsace-Lorraine region before immigrating to the Americas, so I like learning something about the soil and climatic conditions of continental Europe. I understand that's not very close, but in Canada we deal with some pretty vast distances.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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@Lunai I think I'd have to order it online too, if I want it to be a decent enough price. Thankfully there are many Australian stores, so I do try to buy from locations "near" me if that makes any sense.
Wow, I'd love me a bin that cheap. I'd definitely find use for it.

Ahh fair enough. It looks very interesting though - on the pictures it looks like it's got these frosted edges. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on it somewhere...

Awesome!

Yeah it really is, haha. Especially since I really am still quite a "noob" gardener. I'm learning as I go, and won't deny I haven't killed my fair share of plants. I'll get there one day, haha. And about half are still alive πŸ‘Ό
 

Lunai

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@Lunai I think I'd have to order it online too, if I want it to be a decent enough price. Thankfully there are many Australian stores, so I do try to buy from locations "near" me if that makes any sense.
Wow, I'd love me a bin that cheap. I'd definitely find use for it.

Ahh fair enough. It looks very interesting though - on the pictures it looks like it's got these frosted edges. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on it somewhere...

Awesome!

Yeah it really is, haha. Especially since I really am still quite a "noob" gardener. I'm learning as I go, and won't deny I haven't killed my fair share of plants. I'll get there one day, haha. And about half are still alive πŸ‘Ό
Don't worry, I've killed a fair share of plants too... usually those with thicker leaves just don't survive, no matter what I try πŸ˜…πŸ‘ and my fiancΓ© sometimes just looks at them and they die, a brown thump as I have ever seen one 🀣

Yeah the edges are quite white on that pineapple mint.

🀣 I know what Australian "near" means 🀣 have been 6 month there as a backpacker 😁 this land is sooo huge πŸ˜³πŸ™ˆ I was just in Sidney and Melbourne and somewhere in between but whew. Alone the 11 hour train ride from Sydney to Melbourne is longer than the longest ride in Germany from the very south to the very north πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ™ˆ
 
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Lunai

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30...not much older than our daughter, so that's not old.

I'm enjoying this thread...your climate is more similar to ours than Australia, but I suspect not quite as cold in winter. At the very least I'd expect it to be considered a continental climate. I'm also enjoying the name / language similarities and differences. Ananas mint for example when ananas is French for pineapple.

Using planters as the sides of a raised bed is brilliant. When planning the in-ground beds, you may want to consider pathways as 2.5 m wide will be too far to reach across. Something to think about is using "permanent" paths and either mulch those or lay down some paving stones or similar. That way, you won't be compacting the soil you are amending and you won't be amending the soil you are compacting and not growing in.

The technique you used with the in-ground beds is referred to as trench composting.

We tried some of the icicle radishes this year...I'm pretty sure I planted them too late for them to do much. I'll be checking on the remnants of our radishes tomorrow and hopefully there will be something to salvage.

I'm wondering if you can push the 1/3 rule - many edible plants are attractive and could be considered ornamental...something like the Jerusalem artichoke (also known as sunchoke here). I'll be planting some next year as it is one of the few perennial vegetables that survive our climate. Even fruit trees that flower in spring are quite attractive. I've started taking a permaculture design course and one of the ideas is to "stack" yields - that is, ideally have plants that serve more than one purpose. Even within the 1/3 idea, having flowering plants for your ornamental piece is valuable to attract pollinators (bees, moths, butterflies, some birds like hummingbirds) so long as you choose appropriate varieties. For example, many pollinators prefer single flowers rather than double or more complex ornamental flowers. You could also research shrubs or trees (like the eleagnus family) that are nitrogen-fixing which could fill the ornamental niche, but also be beneficial to your garden overall by adding nitrogen to the soil.

I can start our earliest plants in Feb/Mar...but that's indoors. Our last spring frost date is around mid-May, so there are many vegetables we can't set out before then. I'm jealous.

My paternal family was in the Alsace-Lorraine region before immigrating to the Americas, so I like learning something about the soil and climatic conditions of continental Europe. I understand that's not very close, but in Canada we deal with some pretty vast distances.
Yes that's quite a similar climate, only yours gets much colder πŸ₯Ά

Ah the language stuff πŸ™ˆπŸ€£ sometimes I get really confused with these... I'm writing English but the English word keeps missing in my head, then I use the translater and knock my head, cous of course I knew that one πŸ™„πŸ˜… but it works the other way round too... sometimes I can't think of the German word cause the English word just ceeps popping up in my mind screaming: "use me, use me!" πŸ™ˆπŸ€£πŸ€£

Yes exactly πŸ’― % 😁 as far as I know the 1/3 rule got established because there were people who just planted grass all over and a big cottage to use it for parties and stuff like that.
No one complaines if the growing section overtakes the other two... and it's pretty hard to measure as well, cause as you said, veggie flowers and herbs can be ornamental too πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘

Those planters will heat up the bed in early spring earlier than the other wooden raised beds. Got that idea from a youtube video I stumbled across. If I could afford them, I would buy sine more and do all our raised beds like that (there are also square ones which I would prefer)

Those walkways will be mulched, or grass or we use some of that gravel... there is almost a ton left... πŸ˜… don't know yet πŸ€”
Didn't know about the trench composting πŸ€” guess there is a word for everything πŸ˜…

Elsass-Lothringen 😍😍 is actually just a 15 min car ride from where I grew up. My grandparents still live there. I had some French lessons in 3rd and 4th year of school, still can count to 100 🀣 not much more tho πŸ€£πŸ™ˆ
And with the distances... I think more Germans should visite places like Australia or Canada or parts of the US to get a better relation to what's truly vast and a loooong way away 🀣 some are complaining about a 5 min drive to their workplace πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…
 

Lunai

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I went out yesterday to the garden and I'm totally stoked about what we completed 😍πŸ₯³
Could enlist the help and strong arms of my fiancΓ©. Who helped me dig out and reset the curbstones to define the left side groundbeds.
Without him our 3 hour workshift would have taken me the whole week or even two.
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Elsass-Lothringen 😍😍 is actually just a 15 min car ride from where I grew up. My grandparents still live there. I had some French lessons in 3rd and 4th year of school, still can count to 100 🀣 not much more tho πŸ€£πŸ™ˆ
And with the distances... I think more Germans should visite places like Australia or Canada or parts of the US to get a better relation to what's truly vast and a loooong way away 🀣 some are complaining about a 5 min drive to their workplace πŸ™ˆπŸ˜…

I've never seen the German spelling for the region before. Thanks for that. My great-great-grandfather was born in Thionville, north of Metz. Of course, in that corner, going further back includes ancestors from Luxembourg and Germany. My surname, Thille, is a French variation on a Germanic name...apparently Thil, Thill, and Thiel are all derivatives of the same surname.

Many train trips here are measured in days. The nearest Canadian city with over 100,000 population is about 550 km away.

Good job on the progress...it's always good to be able to enlist the help of volunteers, I mean friends. I thought I had help today to dig sugar beets, but she sort of did her own thing at our country property.
 
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