Planting Hokkaido Pumpkin Seeds in Self-watering Boxes

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.

Setting up Two Self-watering Boxes

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.

Building a New Potato Tower Bed

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.

Planting Extra Potatoes under the Apple Tree

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!

A Trip to The Old Town

Also known as Den Gamle By in Aarhus, Denmark.
Date: Jan 4, 2020.

Propagation greenhouse, circa 1830
From Geelsgård near Holte. Reconstructed in
Den Gamle By in 1954.
Parade greenhouse, circa 1850.
From Bernstorff Manor. Reconstructed in
Den Gamle By in 1954.

Next stop: The Greenhouses and The Botanical Garden, also in Aarhus, Denmark.