Friday, April 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes (3)

If you haven't previously (or if you just love reading blogs like I do), go check out Jennifer at Conversion Diary, and perhaps you can participate in this week's quick takes linkup as well.

Today, I decided there are things every want to be gardener needs to know prior to gardening, and that these things I'm finding out about lately aren't things I really thought about when I decided gardening was a great idea.

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The biggest problem I am facing right now that I never actually thought would be an issue is loosening the soil in my yard to prep for planting.  Sure, soil should be no problem, right?  Well, that's what I thought until I pulled out the rota tiller and pinched/pulled/irritated the horrible sciatic nerve.  Some things are better left to professionals when you're pregnant.   Hopefully I can get something figured out within the next few weeks.

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Fences.  When I thought, "Oh, I'm so going to plant things in my yard....", I didn't think about having to keep the kids and dog away from said plants.  100 euro later, I have a nice small picket fence that will be painted blue sometime this weekend.  I sincerely did not ever intend to spend money on a fence when I first decided to garden, but after realizing that my children/dog like to be destructive, the fence money came up as one of the most reasonable options out there.

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Companion plants.  What are companion plants, you say?  Well, there's certain plants that grow incredibly well near each other, and then there are those plants that you should never ever in a million years ever plant next to each other because they will fight to the death.  Unfortunately, usually, both die.   I found the most convenient list to be on wikipedia.  Usually, I don't generally trust most things wikipedia, but it seems this list is well built, sourced, and matches all the other things I've come across about companion plants.  I'm finding trouble figuring out how to order my plants so none of them kill each other.  it seems tomatoes and carrots will make for a good medium to split things like brassicas and onions.

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Microclimates.  Bavaria is seriously full of different climates, and it seems all of them are different.  While most of the climates still have a "last potential frost date" of May 15th, its best to figure out what the locals do before you plan on doing anything at all.  I'm finding this part fairly confusing, but hopefully, no more frost comes around.

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Happy mediums in the soil.  It seems every single plant has a different soil ph balance.  The trick, is to find out what balance will generally work for all the plants you intend to plant without unintentionally causing stunted growth or other problems because of lack of something.  Sadly, I didn't know this until I realized how unbalanced my soil actually was.  Fun fact!  A bunch of guano (bat poo) brought it to a good ph level, and we'll see in the future if I'll ever need to add different fertilizers for different nutrients.

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Not everything grows well for everyone.  Lets face it, not every plant likes to grow for everyone.  I personally can't get strawberries and peppers to sprout for anything, and flowers just plain old hate me.  I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong with these, but they just won't grow.  Everything else is going good, so perhaps next year or, you know, ten years from now, I can actually grow them effectively.

----->  7  <-----

Lastly, pests.  Actually, I haven't come across this issue it, but I do fully expect a ton of slugs to show up soon enough.   When I come across dealing with these, I'll let you know what I learn.  Totally not looking forward to some of the pests I've been told are popular around here.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know about companion plants. We are expanding our garden this year so it's good to know.

    1. I'm glad I could help! It surprised me to learn about them aswell.