Welcome to our small homestead in Sweden

Planning a new garden season

seed

January is nearing the end and my first seeds have already germinated. Last year was miserable in that respect. Due to the pandemic, Frank and I were stuck in Norway between January and June 2021. It was impossible to grow any seed that had to be started indoors. With this in mind, I might be just a little bit too ambitious this year.

Ambitious seed purchases

Without checking my stack of unused seeds from last year, I ordered a large new batch of seed. Although my new plant nursery is ready to be filled with seedlings, I’m still quite sure I will run out of space. However, it’s extremely difficult to prioritise when browsing through seed catalogues. I know I want too much, and I will most certainly be pressed for time when the spring is here, yet, I can’t help myself. I guess, as far as an addiction goes, I can afford letting a few packages of seed go to waste. This year I have ordered seeds from Impecta, Lindbloms frö, and Cramers.

Creating plans for the garden season

Anyway, wild ambitions aside, I’m trying to approach the season a little bit more structured this year. I have worked through my entire stack of seeds and created plans for when to sow the different plants. And not just that, I’m also planning to write down my experience with the different plants too, so maybe it will be easier to select seed next year. At least, that is my plan. It still remains to carry it through.

One plan is to grow a lot of tomatoes. I have sown no less than 12 different types. That might seem like a lot, but there were only 5-6 seeds in some of the packages. Some of my seeds are 1-2 years old, so they might not germinate that well. Apart from using tomatoes fresh for salads, I cook tomato sauce. We use a lot of tomato sauce, so I doubt I will get too much of that.

Tomato seed plan
Planning when to sow

Plants for the greenhouse

Most of the tomatoes will grow in the unheated tunnel greenhouse. There they will be accompanied by cucumbers, chili, sweet peppers, and a few physalis plants. Since most of these plants don’t tolerate frost, I cannot plant them out until the end of May. I therefore plan to grow some salad, onions and carrots in that space earlier. Two years ago, I sowed salad and carrots as well as planted onions in the tunnel greenhouse in March, and even though we had some more frost nights, that turned out to be a success.

Plants for the vegetable garden

When the temperature rises and it is possible to sow directly or plant out seedlings, I have a long list of plants for the vegetable garden. I have several types of salads, onions, beets, beans and peas. I haven’t had much success with cabbages so far, either because they have been eaten by caterpillars or slugs. However, I’ve asked Frank to build me a few raised beds with fleece-covered tops, and hope the result will be better.

I have grown squash before, but this year I am planning to sow winter squash. I have also grown pumpkin in the greenhouse, but noticed that pollination is much better when I grow them outside. This year I will be trying out several types of pumpkin and winter squash and plan on growing them on a mound I have created of weed and residue garden materials. I’m excited to find out how that will work out.

Annual and Cut Flowers

I am also planning to grow several types of annuals this year. One reason is to have flowers to fill in empty spaces as well as containers. Another reason is that I might want to start growing cut flowers for sale when I retire and that it might be a good idea to get some experience. With that in mind, I have bought seeds for sunflowers, cosmos as well as a few other plants that I think might be good for bouquets.

annual flowers
Sunflowers

Another plant that I’m trying out this year is dahlias. I have avoided dahlias before because they need to be taken in over the winter, and that has seemed like too much extra work. However, last year I had a couple of dahlias in containers and they flowered all through the summer. The experience has inspired me to order some dahlias this year. Hopefully, I will remember to dig them up before we have frost.

To sum up, these are a few of my plans for the coming season, and I am really excited to see how it all will turn out.

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