This is the spot in the lawn where my small potato bed was located two years ago. I was going through the concrete blocks one by one looking for germinated flower seeds, and I stumbled on one of life’s little miracles where the two sticks are placed.
It turns out that two of my tiny potato tubers have survived for two year in the lawn, and they are now shooting up and reaching for the light! I thought I had moved all the tubers to my potato tower experiment last year, which didn’t go very well at all, but luckily these two guys are going strong in the lawn and carrying on the genes from my potato seed saving experiment, which started several years ago.
Oh, the excitement! I thought I had lost each and every potato to killer slugs and a stupid mole.
This small potato plant even had to compete with ivy, and it won the race to reach the light. That’s promising for the genes it’s carrying and I’ll be looking very carefully after these two new plants.
After all, we are dealing with two completely new types of potatoes here, since these have been grown from collected potato seeds, extracted from potato fruits (yes – that’s actually a thing!).
I have several wire mesh supports that I have kept from previous years of gardening. They fit perfectly into the bottom of these plastic pots.
This is a mix of 50% soil from a growing bag and 50% compost from the recycling station. It has a perfect texture and I’m looking forward to see if the tomatoes will like it.
One Nemador tomato plant to go.
And, three more.
Now it’s easy to do a comparison with the ones in the self-watering polystyrene box. The two in the box are already looking healthy and growing fast.
Beneath the apple tree the potatoes are also looking good and growing fast. I have underestimated how good the soil is here, but of course the soil has been enriched by all the apples that have been composting here through the years.
There’s even a small flower being developed here. I’ll watch closely to see if it will turn into a potato fruit, that I can harvest for potato seeds.
The apples on the apple tree are still going strong. I’m starting to believe in a great apple harvest this year.
This is a fine spot for another self-watering box. This wall is facing south and the patio is surrounded by bushes, so the temperature will be high when the sun hits.
Unfortunately, the concrete slabs are not level and I don’t want the self-watering box to break when the water is added.
I will even out the surface but it would be better to use sand instead of dirt, but I don’t have any sand available.
What a dirty mess… But I guess it will work anyway.
Ready for planting.
I have planted two tomato plants, one ‘Nemador’ and one ‘Ikarus’, both organic.
This year I’ll try to annoy any killer slugs that might want to slaughter the tomato plants. I’ve read that the slugs don’t like to crawl on copper, so I’ll check if it’s the same for aluminium. Hopefully, this will make them turn around and go away.
I’m adding a cage to provide support for the tomato plants as they grow taller.
I have attached the support to the ceiling using bamboo sticks and several cable ties.
The bamboo sticks are going all the way to the bottom of the growing bag, through the top, so that the support can’t move sideways and fall of the bag.
I’m adding aluminium foil to the self-watering boxes in the driveway too, to keep any killer slugs away.
It doesn’t look pretty but it’s not that bad. It will soon be covered by foliage.
The Hokkaido pumpkin has germinated and is sending up a small shoot.
I found this guy under the apple tree, but I don’t think he’s interested in the potato plants.
It’s a burgundy snail, but he’ll be escorted out of the potato bed anyways.
The potato plant in the coming potato tower is looking great and healthy. So far, so good, without any killer slugs nearby.
The small apples on the apple tree are looking good too.
Uuh, a present from 2019! I’m wondering what it is.
Actually, I know:
Hokkaido pumpkin seeds! And they’re very well preserved.
Let’s find out what they’re capable of when they are exposed to a self-watering box. I’m planting three seeds in each hole to make sure I’m left with at least one healthy plant.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to pull up the two weaker ones at some point.
I’m going for one plant in each hole.
I’m starting the germination process by adding water from the top and covering the soil again with black plastic. The seeds won’t need light for the germination, only heat and water.
The box to the left is loaded with hokkaido seeds, and the box to the right is waiting for strawberry plants until I get hold of these.
This is my potato tower experiment to the right of the self-watering boxes. There’s actually a very small potato leaf sticking through the soil, but it can’t be seen on the picture yet.
The potato plants beneath the apple tree have grown a lot since I checked last time, so it’s time to earth up.
Looks like we’ll be harvesting apples this year, unlike last year with only five apples on the entire tree.
This is a good spot for two self-watering boxes – or even three. The potato tower is being built to the right.
This is at the end of a long driveway.
The end of the driveway is packed with wild strawberry, that will have to be moved to another place. I’ll move them to the top of the grey wall.
The driveway is apparently the perfect place for these wild strawberries. I think there’s a lot of water in the “soil” here.
The ground is supposed to have been compacted here, but I guess it’s not the case.
How often do you see wild strawberry outmatch ivy??
I’m loosening the soil so I can carefully move the wild strawberries to another spot. “Luckily” it’s raining today, so the plants will get an easy start.
All the wild strawberries have been moved to the top of the grey wall.
I moved the plants in batches of around five plants per batch. The soil is moist due to the rain so that’s perfect.
How is this even possible? I just did a very quick levelling.
The other way is just as off as expected.
There’s a plastic bag inside each self-watering box. This is probably only necessary if the box is placed on a surface that would be damaged if the water leaks out.
The first one has been set up. One left.
Boom. Did it again. Somehow.
The box will cover the ugly crack in the wall.
Still no sign of the potato plant.
The flowers on the apple tree have almost all been replaced by green leaves.
Beneath the apple tree the potato plants have finally emerged and are being welcomed with a shower of apple flowers.
Last year I built a potato tower bed from these concrete blocks that I found behind the shed. It didn’t go very well because a mole decided to do a sneak attack from below.
I assume it ate all the potatoes from the ground and up, because I didn’t find any at all in the tower despite large foliage coming out of the top. The tower was also surrounded by several molehills.
On top of that (literally) the potato plants were decapitated by killer slugs, so I wasn’t too happy about this project at all. But this it’s going to be different, as I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve.
I have several of these concrete blocks available so the tower is going to be quite high.
Here’s a nice spot for the potato tower bed. It’s in the driveway but it doesn’t look too bad.
I had to move a couple of strawberry plants to another garden bed, but hopefully they will survive. After all, they don’t belong in the driveway, but hey – it’s food!
This is my secret weapon this year against that damn mole: chicken wire under the potato tower!
Also, the entire thing has been move the another place in the garden, where the mole hasn’t been spotted.
Since the tower will be quite tall it has to be level so it won’t slide.
The chicken wire has been hidden very well – nothing to see here!
I’m using a mixture of the compost available from the recycling station (left) and some garden soil (right) in a 50 / 50 ratio. The garden soil is almost useless here, since it’s nearly all sand.
The lucky potato that will get to inhabit this large tower and hopefully multiply into many many potatoes as the plant grows upwards.
I still need to create a shield against killer slugs from the top, but my plan is to use tin foil around the upper edge. Or perhaps also chicken wire with a smaller mesh.
This is the spot where the tower will be built as the weeks pass by. Accompanied by wild strawberry, which will probably have to be moved to make room for a couple of self-watering polystyrene boxes.
I also did a bit of weeding underneath the flowering apple tree. It’s really beautiful at the moment with all its flowers.
Here’s the interpretation from Google Photos. It’s pure art.
The flowers on the apple tree are in full bloom. The tree grows on a steep hill in the backyard.
In fact, most of the backyard is one steep hill. There’s not much space for growing food since there are many areas in the shade.
The sky has a very beautiful blue color. I imagine it’s because of the missing pollution due to the missing airplanes, that have been grounded because of the corona pandemic.
I hope that this year’s last freezing temperatures won’t reach the flowers on the apple tree. Last year was a disaster, with only a handful of apples on the entire tree!
I heard from other people that they saw the same in other parts of the country (Denmark). Hopefully this year will be much better in terms of apple production.
The bumblebees are working hard to pollinate this incredible amount of flowers. Can you spot one in the picture?
I’m sneaking in a row of potatoes beneath the apple tree. I’ll just loosen the soil a bit.
I’m looking forward to seeing the small green plants emerge!