I’ve noticed that there are a lot of gardening blogs, which is something that fascinates me and is one of my main hobbies here, so I’m going to blither about mine a bit!
We moved here from the very temperate south of England, at 40m sea level, really – we were on the coast, to nearly 1000m and in a glacial valley. We changed soils from claggy clay, to a wonderful river alluvial sandy black soil, facing South East. The region has for years been a main potatoe growing region because of this soil and the fact that the potato blight never got here due to the cold climate. The local spud is known as an Eachtling, and there’s still a great market here for spuds.
We’ve made lots of mistakes here, mostly planting stuff too early and getting it snowed on or frosted. As I write, people are just starting to sow seeds and its the 4th of May. A lot of the balcony boxes are filled but sitting in the garage until the ‘Frost man’ is gone. Few people over winter their plants here except for Paggy who puts his Fuchsias in the sauna, so we’re seen as a bit nuts for putting ours all in the earth cellar for the winter!
When we arrived, we dug what we thought was the best place in the grass for the plots – exactly where our predecessors had them! We found beautiful soil which was great.
I’ve just sown the courgettes (but with reserve in pots oon the window sill), three sorts of pea, broad beans(huge success on our first try last year), Parsnips, carrots and I’ve just bought plugs for sprouts, beetroot, kohl rabi and some lettuce. Our experiment this year is with sweet corn which we started on the windowsill. I wait on the boss’s (Dave’s) permission to plant out. He’s been a gardener most of his working life, but I still argue with him!!!! It helps where he works in a Garden centre as I get hot tips when new stuff comes in!
Austria has always had a strict policy on pesticides, hence no DDT etc so we get loads of garden pests. Moles, and Molemouse – which I’m trying to find out more about, it burrows underground and eats the roots, you think you have a beautiful parsnip but you pull up just a top, mole crickets, though I’ve not actually seen one, and worms and beetles ad nauseam – I think in our pea crop, 50% had visitors living inside last year!