080 Planting tulips

080 Planting tulips

I take advantage of a gap in the rainy weather to plant some tulips around the terrace in the garden and to rescue the strawberries. I also try to treat the fungus gnats and aphids on our indoor plants with neem oil.

This is probably the only window I am gonna get to not plant the tulips in the rain. There is a little bit of sunshine every now and then but it is going to start raining fairly soon, so without further ado, let me get planting.

A neighbor gave me a lot of tulip bulbs. Some of them are growing on my balcony for some early spring green. Most seem to be growing well. Yay!

They’d asked if I had room for more. They seemed to want to get rid of them. And I love tulips. Admittedly, I wasn’t ready for them. But that’s okay.

The soil here is a mixture of dumped compost and spent soil from the balcony. It’s full of sticks and all kinds of debris, because I never finished this bed before winter hit.

I had planned to get compost from a local facility but, in the end, didn’t dare. I don’t dare because I see what my neighbors add to the organic waste bin. Plus, it’s not organic only. No, I’ll have to figure it out without external sources. I’ll figure it out with what I have. That will be the motto of a lot we do this summer.

I sorted through the soil under the window. I tried not to harm any of the flowers growing there. I am pretty sure they are the flowers that grew here when I adopted the plot, some kind of day lily (Hemerocallis).

Considering the limited amount of soil, I should have filled the bottom half of these with twigs and leaves. It would also have added some nutrients over time. Ah, well. Too late now.

I know very little about tulips. I saw ginormous tulip fields while living in the Netherlands. Before knowing how they are grown ruined cut flowers for me, I had bouquets on my table. But that’s commercial tulips. I want these to come back next year.

While planting, I found something I’d almost forgotten about: my shears! I’d lost these last summer when I first started this project. I’d given up on them. They are in great shape albeit dirty.

Remember that rain I mentioned? The first drops started falling just around this point. But I wasn’t done. Lucky for me, it was only a bit of a drizzle, and the real rain didn’t arrive until later. I got to plant my tulips with sun on my skin. And the later rain saved me from figuring out the water situation.

I also got the strawberries out of the very wet container they overwintered in. They will be able to spread their roots here. But there are still far too many plants per planter. The plan is to spread a few of these in different places around the food forest. For now, they’ll already be a lot happier here than in the container. At least, I hope so.

And it all got done before the rain started.

I really, really need to get up. But… When we got home, we took a long break on the couch that turned out longer than planned. When I’d finally managed to get Pepper off my legs, I cleaned the hydroponics tower. The plants are starting to take off. And a few herbs are moving in soon.

Unfortunately, we’ve been dealing with both aphids and fungus gnats on some of our indoor plants. So, I mixed up some neem oil, soap, and water to spray the plants. I’ve never done this before, so I am highly skeptical. I gave all plants a really good soak, waited a few minutes, and added one more surface spray.

The sun made an appearance, so I finally got some use out of the chairs our former neighbors left us. It was really windy but for the gap between the clouds, I got to enjoy the warm sun on my skin. Fifteen minutes of bliss.

I’d spent the afternoon cleaning the apartment. When I was done, I put away the baking soda. This requires some acrobatics or a step stool. I am usually too lazy to get the stool.

The tiny oregano seedlings are doing well. And lemon balm has joined the tiny party.

We used the sunny patches to check on the morels again. Still no mushrooms. It is still very cold out. Spring isn’t quite here.

The first wild plants are showing up. Yes, I am excited about nettles. The tips of my fingers are callused enough to touch them. The rolling kills the sting before I eat them. There were also some baby dandelion leaves to munch on. The temporary lake is looking more and more like a frog haven.

Sunshine makes me feel like summer salads, so I made one when we returned. While chopping, I thought about the tiny cucumber seedlings in the next room.

This is called Feldsalat. Wikipedia says it’s called cornsalad in English. Feldsalat means field salad. But I just learned some German regions call it mouse-ear salad (Mausohrsalat). Cute. I made a dressing with sour-cream i’d fermented. Some balsamic vinegar, some agave syrup. I improvised. To my surprise, it worked out.

It went into the fridge until we were ready for dinner. I should have left it out. It was a bit hard to pour but tasted good all the same.

So long, and thanks for being here.