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WHITE CANVAS - First draft


By Aleyna


We had to change the initial design of the vegetable garden. Mainly by the analysis of incidence of sun and shadow.

This is an overview of what Backyard looked like with the grass already planted.

Below is the flower bed on which we will make the greenhouse.

Another angle of the flowerbed/greenhouse

We planted 60 strawberry seedlings (not sure seedling is a proper expression- please someone correct me)

Here the herb patch, some remnants of the test patch. All identified because my husband doesn’t know the difference between rosemary and marjoram, much less between oregano and thyme.

Still on the left of the backyard is a tangerine tree and a bromeliad bed

Initially we had thought of 3 flowerbeds on the right side, but decided on only 2, one 1.5m wide and the other 3m wide. You can see the navel orange on the left, the Sicilian lemon on the right and the 3 blueberry bushes behind.

We hope the blueberries ripen properly

This is a nasturtium, PANC (from Portuguese, unconventional food plant). It is possible to eat the flowers, the leaves and even the pickled root bulbs, with the taste very similar to caper.

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All very exciting! I think your worry about ripening blueberries should be more about birds eating them as they ripen! We had to net ours. It must be wonderful to have your own tangerine tree! The veg are coming on well. Whether the strawberries are seedlings or not depends on how they were propagated. If they were from seeds they are seedlings. If they were grown the from runners they are just young plants.
Your husband sounds like mine - he wouldn't know the difference between herbs either.

19 Oct, 2019


I think it's the nasturtium seeds that are pickled as 'poor man's capers', rather than the roots. You'll need a lot to fill a jar though😊 The problem is storing them a handful at a time over the long flowering period. Or growing masses of them!

19 Oct, 2019


Looks lovely Aleyna, lots of diverse produce. Your blueberry plant looks healthy, will you use the fruit for anything in particular?
I’ve several herbs dotted all round, but, this looks really effective.
Looking good!

20 Oct, 2019


Steragram, I didn't think about the birds eating the blueberries. I googled images to see how do it. When is the best time to do it? Now, before they rippen?
About the strawberries I believe were "runners". Young plants a friend gave to us.

Darren, thank you. They are nasturtium seeds :). Our friend, who gave us the young plants, have it spread all over. My intention is move it from the flowerbed to the ground next autumn, and let them grow wild. I love the flowers in a salad.

Kate, thank you for the comment. Blueberries are not native here. They were introduced about 10years ago. We are cultivating it because my husband has Diabetis type 2.
I add blueberries and yacon potatoes to his yogourt.

20 Oct, 2019


Hi Aleyna, I do hope your blueberries do really well, especially if your husband is benefiting from them with having diabetes.

20 Oct, 2019


Well, I think your vegetable beds look wonderful. Everything is so healthy. We sent off to America for a Blueberry bush about thirty years ago and it is still going strong with lots of fruit. I net ours as I have competition with a blackbird. I live in Scotland.

20 Oct, 2019


Thank you Kate. Blueberries are very expensive here, and we don't know how they are produced, so we decided try they home. Hubby will have children (39 and 34) competition :)))))

Linda, thanks for the comment. I have fingers crossed to keep them alive and healthy.

kate and Linda I'll appreciate a photo from your "netted" (not sure about the verb) to have an idea how to do it. Blueberry growers here don't give much information for fear of competition. Even by sending an email message and explaining that we will only produce for our own consumption.

20 Oct, 2019


You have a good variety of plants, and they are looking healthy.

21 Oct, 2019


Thank you Hywel :)
Today I found out the brocolis are blooming yayyy.

21 Oct, 2019


It must be wonderful to be able to grow your fruit! There's not enough space on our balcony to do that :(

They are all doing very well it seems from your photos! Congratulations!

When I worked with my friend, Gerry, on his allotment he had bushes of Black Currents & White Currents as well as Gooseberries. He also had several apple trees & various Plum trees. We also grew Strawberries.

I think it would be better if you removed some of the grass from around the fruit trees & bushes as the grass will rob the trees/bushes of nitrogen which they need for growth. You could cover the soil with a mulch to stop weds from growing there & to increase the humidity they need in the soil.

24 Oct, 2019


Balcony, thank you for the suggestions.
Today is raining, but tomorrow I'll do it. I circled the trunk of the fruit trees with a plastic bottle to avoid the ants. Mulch you mean obtained from old leaves from the compost right? Not commercial fertilizer.

28 Oct, 2019


Mulch is any organic product that can be used in quantity to cover an area you want to keep weed free & to conserve humidity in the soil. This can be leaf mould (decomposed leaves), grass cuttings (used only a little as they can make more problems than they solve!), compost from your compost heap/bin, (made from decomposed plant waste from your garden, not usually bought & is completely different from compost for putting you plants in - normally called "Potting compost or seed compost).

You need to put it a few centimetres deep to cover the root system to be effective - it also needs replacing each year as it will decompose over the course of a year & will be incorporated into the soil below it. This also betters the soil but doesn't feed it - unless it is compost - so you will still need to feed your trees. This traps humidity in the soil & keeps it moist & cool in summer. It also stops weed seeds from germinating so you don't normally have to weed mulched areas - the exception being for perennial weeds which, if not thoroughly cleared away at the time of planting, - will grow through the mulch!

30 Oct, 2019


David, thank you for the explanation and suggestions.
I found on the site of a local store mulch made of green coconut shell or pine bark.

1 Nov, 2019


That should do very well then as mulch! Be careful with the Pine Bark, it can turn the soil quite acid as it breaks down & is incorporated into the soil. Unless you are growing plants that prefer an acid soil you might have to amend it after a year or two. I have no idea if the green coconut shell mulch might affect the soil.

2 Nov, 2019


David, this was the text I found, from EMBRAPA (from Portuguese, Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária -Brazilian agricultural research company)

"Coconut fiber can be used in agriculture as a raw material for erosion control and restocking of degraded areas. It is already used as a raw material for substrates for vegetable seedlings, trees and commercial orchids. It also has positive results in mixing soil for planting potted vegetables and orchids. This slowly decomposing material protects the soil by reducing evaporation, increasing moisture retention, protecting and increasing soil microbial activity and thereby creating favorable conditions for plant development."

5 Nov, 2019


That's exactly what a mulch should accomplish! I would say then that it should be useful in your garden.

5 Nov, 2019


Thank you :))

6 Nov, 2019

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