It´s about time to write another blog post here at Cechov´s mill
The winter seem to have left and spring has come to Central Europe and Czech republic. We haven´t had any frost for some weeks now, and even if the mornings are still cool, temperatures will clime to +15 degrees C during daytime. So, what´s going on at the mill during spring?
Well, to start with, we have planted about 10-15 new fruit trees this year. A few nectarines, peaches, cherrys, a pear, apricot, mullberries… and a pawpaw! The nectarines and the apricot are already blossoming, and the other ones are coming into blossom. But fruitwise, if everything goes well, we should be able to harvest delicious fruits in maybe three to five years. Oh, except for the mullberries – as they can bear fruits from already the first year. We´ll see…
One thing I find crucial when picking what trees to plant in your garden, is that you really think about what you enjoy eating. And of course, what can be grown in your climate. But, often times, we are pretty limited in our thinking, when it comes to planting fruit trees in a temperate climate. If you are really not that into apples – then why not plant something different? Once the tree has grown big enough to bear fruit, it´s pretty hard to move around, if you decide that you don´t like the fruit that much afterall. For us fruit eaters, it is crucial to try to grow food that we really love eating, so that we can eat as much as possible from our garden, and feel satisfied and satiated. Of course, we can eat some apples sometimes, but we already have some apple trees in our garden, and there are so many other trees to plant that can bear amazing tasting fruits!
Other garden work I have been doing lately, is removing the grass away from around the tree trunks. This can be done by sheet mulching which would be something I would prefer, but as it is, I just don´t have enough compost or mulching material on hand to mulch away around all our trees. So, in my garden this year, I will do a combination of sheet mulching with digging. Digging is definitely more hard work than just layering on some card board… but sometimes you just don´t have any choice. So, I will plant some flowers and green mulch plants like borage around the trees. This way we can create our own mulch every summer. Most of our mulch this year, that will go around the trees and on the vegetable beds, will be nettles. They are ready to be slashed in maybe a couple of weeks. But nettles are really one of the best mulches you can use.
Indoors, and in the greenhouse, we have started our seedlings for the summer. Zucchini, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, sallads and more are growing away. One interesting project for this year, will be planting a bed with the three sisters, the so called milpa system – corn, squash and beans as companions. As we don´t eat much squash, I will also interplant with cucumbers and melons, we´ll see how that goes.
Wishing you all the best for now