JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Recover the garden season

This week, we worked to recover the garden season. The wood chipping machine was repaired and worked beautifully.

Monday 3 June

Today, it was a little warmer again. 21 degrees Celsius. Three of the courgette seeds sprouted, and two of the beetroot. Outside in the new bed, not much happened. The slugs started to attack the bed, but I deterred most of the attacks. I say most because I found slugs in the bed as well.

DW worked with the brushcutter on the north side and around the water storage. I worked from home. After work, I weeded and worked with the brushcutter along the road near the sea container and up along the east side of the property.

Two of the courgette Ola Gabriella I bought on 29 May have sprouted!

I also noted that the beetroot sprouted as well. It bugs me when I notice that I did not blog about when I sowed the beetroot. Was it when we came home from the holiday? This beetroot took with it the shell of the seed. I do hope it will get out of the shell in due time.

In the evening, we went for slugs. They left a hole in our gardening sole.

Tuesday 4 June

I worked from the office today. Before going there, I looked at the garden. I weeded around the potatoes. The potatoes are not appreciated among the slugs. The potato plants have grown, so I can gather soil around them.

It was overcast today and not that warm. It sounds like a theme, and I don't mind if we don't have heatwaves. I have no illusions that we will not get a few heat waves this summer, so I think it is also refreshing with a cold period.

In the evening, I found a giant slug in the raised bed. That is not how I intended things to be. Last year, we ordered aluminum tape when we put a heat cable on the pipes under the tiny house. We bought too much of it, and I have been considering whether it can be used for a slug barrier. I taped aluminum tape along the raised bed and then connected these to the battery. I made two strands of tape, and I connected these to the poles of the battery. There were 8 volts between the two strands of the tape.

In the evening, we went around with lamps searching for slugs. Will we win this, or is it a futile competition?

Wednesday 5 June

Today, I went to the office in the morning. I helped a colleague rearrange the server room to prepare to move the office.

After work, I started creating slug fortifications. I took PVC pipes and cut them into rings. I think I made perhaps 14 rings. Then, I taped copper tape on these rings. We bought this tape last summer as if I knew this slug crisis was approaching.

DW got help from DS to set up the scaffold in the garden so the beans could grow on something.

I transplanted 3 pickle plants in front of the sea container. This is a fantastic spot because the sun is warming; it is a lovely plant microclimate. There is a downside to this place as well. There are mice here, and the vegetables can be smashed against the sea container with a stiff wind. One of the pickle plants did good from the start, while two "fainted" after being transplanted. We will see how this progresses. I still have two pickle plants pending in the nursery.

I transplanted four Kabocha Blue Pumpkins. They were placed in the slope area behind the sea container inside slug fortresses.

I transplanted courgette Old Gabriella in front of the sea container in the area of the beetroot and carrots. I have not seen any carrots sprouting, and only one beetroot exists. I doubt these two areas will produce anything. It is an excellent option to put pumpkins there.

Finally, I transplanted three Courgette Western Sunrise in the beetroot area at the mailbox. Also, there has been no progress on the beetroot here. I think I will give up on the sowed beetroot and start to weed these. The carrots may stay for a while.

Then I switched to the brushcutter and removed thistles and ragwort. I went cutting along the eastern border of the property. Then, I continued to the north border. At the water pond, I turned and continued to clear the water back to the halophyte filter. The remaining area now is along the dyke at the west side of the property.

In the evening, we went hunting slugs. I noticed that two transplanted pickle plants were a bit sad. They got extra water and a couple of words of encouragement.

Thursday 6 June

National Day in Sweden. That was not much I could enjoy because, in the Netherlands, it was a regular day of work. The two sad pickle plants will probably make it, but they have not yet fully recovered. The good thing is that the slug fortresses do work.

I went to the office, and DW stayed at home, celebrating a day of her sabbatical. It was a busy day but successful. It is nice to start to see the result of hard work. It was late when I came home. On the way home, I bought plastic boxes for DW to put wool projects into. That way, she can stifle outbreaks of moth infections.

In the evening, we went to cast our votes for the European election of parliament. We selected far-right nationalist fascists that will remove people's right to travel freely in Europe, actively working to dissolve the EU, ICC, FN, and NATO. No, I am just kidding. We did not, but others probably did. It will take some time to get the results because other countries also need to vote, and they are voting on other days this week. I found a field with corn poppy flowers when walking to the voting place. Since World War I, this flower has symbolized fallen soldiers in Britain.

We got a new offer from the shed builder. I think he had a couple of errors in his offer, so those need to be discussed.

When it was completely dark, I went out with a lamp hunting slugs. There were a couple of slugs in the raised bed. I think they came there when I moved the soil from the old bed on the other side of the house. I have not seen any slug actively cross the aluminum barrier. If that happens, I will need to switch the battery. The small circle fortresses are doing great!

Friday 7 June

I worked from home, and DW worked in the garden. She also worked on her wool projects. The sprouting has started in the raised bed. This is Arugola. DW said it was probably weed. But no, weeds don't sprout in rows.

At work, I helped clear a server room. For the rest, I did my usual work.

Today, the missing part of the wood-chipping machine arrived! I think I will make sometime this weekend to put the machine together. That in itself is an exciting project. I started disassembling the machine on 27 April.

We had Pizza for dinner, and DS came to eat with us. It was a magnificent evening.

Saturday 8 June

The first task for the day was to rearrange the sheep area. They returned to the space between the properties on the west and north sides. The permanent net was mounted before the road was finished. The road is perhaps twenty centimeters above the original dirt road, a little less than eight inches. The pole next to the road was too low; it had to be lifted. We loaded the car jack, an extra pole, and a ratchet strap into the wheelbarrow. I laid the extra pole next to the low pole. I connected the two poles and lifted the extra pole with the car jack. The ground was firmly compacted here, requiring many lifting passes, but it succeeded. Between each pass, we put bricks under the tip of the extra pole.

This area is doing fine. I weed out thistles here, so grass and dandelions dominate the vegetation. We have more work to do with the ragwort. It is spreading at an alarming rate.













Hannah, Bea, and Selma are doing fine. They are a bit too "robust," so the days of food supplementary are over.

The spot where Hannah had her fly strike last year is healing slowly. She likes it very much when I am grooming her. I washed it a couple of days ago. She pulls up her head and makes sounds with her lips. When you stop and give attention to one of her sisters, she will give you a powerful headbutt.

Our two neighbors on the west side use the area between their properties as a garbage dump. There are man-tall thistles. I will give that area a little maintenance with the brush cutter to tidy it up.

With the sheep moved, we went to an event nearby to exchange ideas and services. One group provided vegetables, but they also redistributed vegetables. So if I have too many courgettes, I could go to these people with these courgettes, and so the courgettes could get distributed. There were other services as well. Quite interesting.

The weather was still okay, but it started to get overcast. DW went out with the brushcutter, and I started to repair the wood chipping machine.

Here is the replacement part next to the original broken part. I had taped all screws and bits and bobs on cardboard with numbers from when I had removed them. That was incredibly helpful when putting the machine back together.

It turned out that I had disassembled the machine too much. It had not been necessary to do that. No worries, I removed dirt and put oil on parts, so it was a good thing anyway, especially when I successfully assembled the machine.

I tried the machine, and it worked! The branches are munched bit by bit. A wheel with knives is turning against the plate I replaced. The plate is pushed towards the knives with one single set screw. That means that the corners of the plate are less supported. When a branch passes straight over the set screw, the giveaway is minimal. The plate gives away ever so slightly when the branch passes on a corner. In usage, it means that you are pushing the plate against the knives as close as you can come without the knife eating away on the plate. The age of the material pushed into the machine is essential for the effect of the machine. Dry and crumbly material is crushed to pieces more than cut in pieces. It is easier to feed old branches.

Sunday 9 June

Today, DW had a wool activity. I started the day by cutting old branches beside our compost on the east side of the property. It took some time to finish this heap. The branches lying here are several years old. I placed the result beside the new raised bed.

Then, I relocated the machine to the west side of the property. We had a heap of willow branches that we fed the sheep during the blue tongue crisis last year. Willow has a natural pain stiller effect, and I suppose the sheep is like this. You can read more about salicylic acid on the Wikipedia page.

Today we got a visit from aspireing antrepreneurs! They could sell 7 strawberries for one euro! It was not a good bargain but oh well, three happy kids is worth the money.

It was time to let the wood chipper munch on these branches. The branches are almost one year old, and it went magnificently. A couple of strands failed. They had proper bites but had not fallen apart but remained as a string of chips.

Then I continued cutting along the dyke. I finished that part. With that done, I switched the blade to a triangular knife on the brush cutter. With that, I could cut willows in our pond. I was almost finished when the battery died. That was good because I was tired.

It was an eventful week. I had hoped to transplant more of my seedlings, but that did not happen. The wood chip machine has been repaired, and it is doing a good job. We got over our slug crisis. The election to the European Parliament is over, and it looks like the fascists and Putin friends have not won significantly, although the counting of the votes has not finished when I write this.

See you next week!

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.