Rainwater

If you not have the opportunity to collect water from a river or a lake, it may be worthwhile to use rainwater. It is a good investment if you use a lot of water in the garden.

If you not have the opportunity to collect water from a river or a lake, it may be worthwhile to use rainwater. It is a good investment if you use a lot of water in the garden.

You can also use rainwater for car wash, toilet flush and laundry

There are good reasons to collect rainwater:

  • It reduces the consumption of drinking water
  • You save money.

A barrel is the most common way to collect rainwater. It is both easy to find space in the garden, and it is easy to use and maintain.

With a barrel, you can save money by recycling the collected water for watering the garden and for cleaning.

If you would like to use the rainwater for laundry and flushing, it will require a major investment in a rainwater system.

Applic​ation.

You collect the rainwater on your roof. If your roof is suitable, you can recycle the water for:

  • Garden Irrigation
  • Cleaning
  • Toilet flush and laundry

Although rainwater is good for many things, you should avoid using it for drinking water.

 You must not use rainwater as drinking water because insects, soil dust and bird droppings can enter the rainwater tank. Although the water seems clean, there may be bacteria in the water.

You have to be careful about watering vegetables with rainwater. You should not water strawberries, lettuce and other vegetables that you eat raw, especially not on the parts of the vegetable or fruit you eat. That is because the water may be contaminated.

If the plants only absorb water from the soil, such as tomato and cucumber plants, you can use rainwater. The vegetables do not absorb the bacteria through the soil.

Size of the container

If you only have to use the rainwater to water the garden plants and wash the car, a rainwater barrel is big enough for your needs. However, if you want to use the water to flush the toilet and wash clothes you need a rainwater system.

Installation.​

The easiest way to collect rainwater is by using a rainwater barrel. It is easy to set up and makes it easy to collect water. They can typically contain between 190 and 400 liters of water depending on the shape and model you choose. It has a drain tap that you can use when filling a watering can or bucket.

You connect the barrel to a downpipe so that the rain from the roof runs from the downpipe into the barrel. You should connect it with an overflow. In this way, the excess water does not flow over and out of the soil, but instead back into the drainpipe and further into the sewer.

Therefore, remember to raise the barrel above the ground level so that it is possible to drain the water. You can direct the water to various places in the garden by connecting a hose to the tap on the barrel

This video show how to make an install

If you want a bigger system then look here.

If you want to use the rainwater for toilet and laundry, it is a good idea to establish a buried rainwater system. It should be large enough to cover 3-4 weeks of consumption (2-4 cubic meters).

A rainwater system is a complete rainwater system, which consists of a buried rainwater tank, a filter insert, a pump, pipe and a water outlet above the surface.

If you want to read more look here.

Warning.

Be aware of what kind of roof you have before you collect the rainwater. The roof itself can contaminate the rainwater. Below you can see which roofs you should not collect and use rainwater from.

  • Zinc roof or copper roof
  • Asbestos-containing roof
  • Roof with roofing felt

Maint​enance.

You should completely empty the tank and clean it in the spring so that it is ready to collect water. You should do the same when winter approaches. That way, you avoid the rainwater barrel bursting or getting frostbite in the winter.

You should also remember to deconnect the barrel from the drainpipe, if there is a risk of frost in wintertime.

When you have to empty your rainwater tank for the winter However, be aware that you do not empty your rainwater barrel too close to your house as it can cause moisture or water damage.

Greenhouse

Greenhouses offer the opportunity to extend the season for your vegetables.

With a greenhouse, you quickly experience the joy of extending the summer season. You can enjoy the sun in the greenhouse, and the plants benefit from the extra heat and the long warm season. Vegetables can be grown early, and you can harvest crops over time.

A greenhouse also allows you to expand the number of varieties you can grow. It is suitable for many different types of crops, but will be especially suitable for the type that thrives best in a warm climate, such as:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Chili
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Melon
  • Grape

In addition, you can use the greenhouse when you are germinating seeds, and as a workplace for transplantation etc.

If you have a greenhouse, remember that:

  • Clean and wash windows, shrubs and surfaces before using the greenhouse after winter.
  • Change the soil due to the risk of pest and fungal infestation.
  • Wait to grow delicate plants in an unheated greenhouse.

Establishing.

Attach the greenhouse to a wooden or steel base or to a molded foundation. A wooden or steel base is the easy and quick solution. If you want a larger greenhouse, it should have a molded foundation.

You should place the greenhouse so it gets plenty of sun all day.

You can take advantage of the light shade found under smaller trees. Then you will be free to shade the greenhouse with curtains or paint the windows. If you have a tree that pops out relatively late, the greenhouse will get plenty of sun all spring.

A purchased greenhouse typically consists of frames with glass, which are assembled for wall and roof modules. The vast majority of greenhouses are made of aluminum profiles and frames.

You can get plain glass greenhouses, which is the most common. You can also get greenhouses with tempered glass or plastic sheets. It is more expensive, but also has extra resistance in stormy weather and resists hard bumps from rocks, balls and fallen branches.

If you buy a finished greenhouse, the price depends on the size and quality

A good and cheap solution is to build a greenhouse of recycled materials, which you can either find at recycling stations or buy online. For example, you can buy windows, frames and coatings.

Old windows with wooden frames and rafters may be worn for the home, but still very useful for a greenhouse. However, this project requires do-it-yourself skills.

Shape and size.

Most greenhouses have vertical sides. The roof usually has a slope of approx. 30 degrees, so the condensation on the inside of the glass can drain off and heavy snow will slide down. However, you can also get greenhouses in many forms

Greenhouses with one-sided roof pitch. These greenhouses are suitable for placement on a house wall, limbs etc.

It is also important that you choose a greenhouse with a good height.

In a high greenhouse, the air is more comfortable; it does not become so heavy due to temperature and humidity. In addition, there is better ventilation in a greenhouse with good height. 150 centimeters will be a suitable height at the sides of the greenhouse, and about 2 meters in the middle.

Acce​ssories

You can choose many different accessories for your greenhouse.

If you want to grow germinating seeds, it can be difficult in the early spring to create the right conditions throughout the greenhouse. Here breeding boxes are a good supplement because you can easily get a high temperature and humidity in them.

Ventilation in the greenhouse is essential for the well-being of the plants. The greenhouse temperature should preferably vary between a daytime temperature of 25 and a nighttime temperature of 15 degrees. Windows that can open must correspond to at least 30 percent of the floor area.

You can buy window openers that open automatically when the temperature or humidity gets too high.

You can install a window shutter in the sides of a greenhouse. It provides a good even flow of air to the plants and adjusts the air exchange in the greenhouse.

The shade net can be a good solution to keep out the sun’s rays. The more perpendicular the rays hit the glass; the easier the rays will pass through, so a shade mesh will benefit most in the roof of the greenhouse.

You can install various semi or fully automatic irrigation systems in the greenhouse.

Onions

Onions are one of the most widely used vegetables, and are one of oldest vegetable we know.

In addition to the regular yellow onion, there are, among others:

  • Red onion
  • Shallots
  • Scallions

Why eat and grow onions.

The onions are very healthy and they contain many beneficial nutrients, vitamins, minerals.The onions also add flavor to the cooking, without significantly increasing the calorie content.

Cooking and use.

Onions are one of the most important basic ingredient in the kitchen. Crisp and crispy in raw form, soft and to the sweet side cooked.

You can use in all kitchen combinations. From soup to compote, such as sprinkles, flavorings and pure strength. Especially the yellow onions provide good sweetness in soups, stews and gravy.

Some recipes

Cultivation of onions

There are two ways to grow onions. You can then sow onions from seeds or you can buy onion sets.

I would recommend that you buy onion sets, it is both faster and easier and you get earlier onions than sowing.

If you want your onions then the best way to grow from seedlings is to put them in boxes in the greenhouse or indoor as early as February and then plant them from the beginning of May.

You grow all onions in the same simple way. They are set at 8-10 cm intervals with 25 cm spacing between the rows. You only use solid and good onions.

You set the onions in early spring as soon as the soil is comfortable and the worst winter is over. You should put them with the top end in the soil surface because they have more difficulty growing if the soil is hard and they stand deep.

Onions can be grown on all kinds of soils, but thrive best in full sun. They are not very demanding in terms of fertilizer. If the soil has been good with compost the year before, you do not need to fertilize. In contrast, onions prefer to grow in a soil with a high pH, ​​so adding a little lime or pure ash can be beneficial.

Onions do not tolerate competition from weeds, so you must keep the onion bed completely free of weeds until July.

Since onions only have a root depth of 20-30 cm, it is important that the soil does not dry out and that the nutrients are available in the upper 20 cm. They must have water during the growing season, so the soil must never be dry. If it starts with a drought period in May and June, it may be necessary to water the onions.

Seed change: There must be at least 4 years between growing onions in the same area.

Harvest and drying

You harvest the onions up when the onion shaft begins to soften. Picking up and drying at this point produces more durable onions. You make them dry by hanging in a dry and airy place with the top on, possibly.

When dry, the top may are removed and they can hang nicely in the outhouse and carport, even in freezing weather.

Root cellar and pantry

Cooling cabinet or pantry

You design a pantry for long-term storage of food and beverages in larger quantities than is otherwise possible in your kitchen. It is especially interesting for those who grow a large part of the fruit or vegetables the family eats during the winter season. Finally, the obvious advantage of a virtual room is that you can arrange it solely for the purpose of food storage.

If you want to create a pantry in your home yourself, you must remember four basic rules. The room must not have windows; it should preferably face north, well-insulated walls – not only facing the garden, but also towards the other rooms of the house to avoid heat exchange – and good ventilation.

The most optimal is to establish a valve or limb, which you can adjust according to the weather. For example, in the summer it is best to have it completely closed in the heat during the day, but open in the cooler night air

Make the room by being dark and cool – but frost-free. Furthermore, you should secure it against mice and rats. Place the room so you can maintain a stable temperature during the winter months – between 5 and 10 degrees. This is the optimum temperature for food that does not necessarily need to be refrigerated or frozen. This relative coolness slows down bacterial growth and other biological degradation processes and allows the durability of a wide range of food.

In addition, the space should hold a humidity percentage of around 90, as it prevents drying of vegetables, root vegetables and onions.

Nature can become your new refrigerator

Save electricity as well as CO2 by cooling your vegetables, fruit, juice and jam with the help of nature.

If you dig approx. 1 meter into the ground, there is a temperature of 7-8 degrees all year round.

Outside pantry

You bury a meter in the ground on an area of ​​ three m2, and then lay a layer of seashells or pebbles as insulation at the bottom. Then cast a floor of concrete. You build walls up to man-height with brick and insulate the top.

Coolness utilizes cold from the ground because you have buried the cabinet below 90 cm. You maintain that temperature by creating circulation in the room by making a pipe that goes into the ground and comes up through a chimney with a built-in grate.

Make sure you place your pantry in the shade, with the door against north, allowing as little sunlight, and heat as possible, when you steps in to the pantry.

Make a root cellar

A root cellar is slightly larger and can protect fruits and vegetables from frost in winter, while keeping it cool in summer.

When deciding to build a root cellar, there are many factors to consider. First, consider where you want to place it.

If you have a slope to dig into it is perfect, otherwise, you have to dig down the root cellar. It is important that it be above ground level to avoid flooding. You allso lay a drainage layer in the floor so that there is no water

You will need to dig a 150 cm deep hole at 4 x 8 meters, and wall it up with stones at the sides and bottom. You can wall the sides 50 cm higher up and close the basement at the top with a slanted door. You must establish two holes with meshes in each of the gables – to ensure ventilation and keep animals out.

You can use the cellar all year round for storage of juice, wine, beer, jam etc., as a good cellar in the summer usually stays below 15 °. For storage of fruits and vegetables during the winter months, it must be 100% frost-free with a temperature between 0–4 ° C and a relative humidity of 97–99%. It is best to have a lock so you not let the outside air in directly.

Flat roof increases the risk of condensation water dripping onto the stored crops. A curved roof is better. You do not have to insulate against moisture, as there must be almost 100% moisture. To save the soil layer above the soil cellar, you can insulate the part of the cellar that is above ground

The ventilation must be good. In the winter, the fresh air must be warmed by the soil and in the summer, it must be cooled down by the soil. You can achieve this by passing the fresh air into the basement through a 20–25 m long pipe, which is buried in the ground at a depth of 1 m. Place the ventilation vent in the ceiling.

For some plans you can look at this site.

Potatoes

The potato comes from the Andes in South America Around the year 1700 the potato come to Europe, but it took many years before it began to be cultivated seriously. Today it is one of the most important vegetable, and there is hardly any kitchen garden without potatoes.

Why eat and grow potatoes.

Some believe that the potato is unhealthy due to its carbohydrate content. Nevertheless, the potato is not that bad.

On the contrary, it is an incredibly healthy eating, also for everyday life, because it is full of many good nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

  • The potatoes are rich in dietary fiber and are therefore a good source for getting the recommended 25 grams into the daily diet.
  • They have a low calorie content, and contain fewer calories than the alternatives we otherwise put on the table, such as rice and pasta.
  • Due to the high content of fiber, the potatoes have also proved to be the most saturating in several meal attempts, and thus for the fewest calories.
  • In addition, potatoes do not contain fat, and they will therefore most often help to pull the meal down in a more calorie and light direction.
  • Potatoes contain a large amount of vitamin C, in fact a fifth of the recommended daily dose, obtained by consuming only one medium-sized potato. Vitamin C, among other things, helps strengthen our immune system and increase the absorption of iron in, among other things, the meat we eat.
  • In addition to vitamin C, the potato also stores vitamin B and K, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and calcium, all of which play a major and important role in our health.

Cooking and use.

There are thousands of different ways to prepare potatoes. You can eat them baked, fried, steamed and boiled.

You can boil new potatoes after cleaning, older ones you have to scrape or peel before use.

Some recipes

Cultivation of potatoes.

Potatoes and seed change.

The cultivation itself is very easy, and here you get both yield and quality for a little effort. There is a wide difference in taste between purchased and new home grown potatoes , that you just harvested.

In order to prevent disease and pests it is necessary to have a seed change – this applies not least to potatoes, cabbage and peas. Seed change means switching crops on the different beds or pieces of soil, and each family must arrange its seed change to suit the consumption of vegetables. A simple change of seeds over 4 years is:

First year: potatoes
Second year: cabbage / beans / peas
Third year: cucumbers
Fourth year: root vegetables / onions.

If you want to grow large potatoes in the kitchen garden year after year, you can only grow potatoes in a maximum of a quarter of the kitchen garden every year.

New potatoes

Potatoes can be grown on all kinds of soil, especially if you add copious amounts of compost to the soil, which makes the clay soil more crumbly and increases the sandy soil’s ability to hold on to the water.

Potatoes are a corrosive vegetable, so there must be plenty of nitrogen and potassium available. Fertilize the soil well, either with compost or livestock manure, or with various dried bag fertilizers. Quantity: approx. 2 l of fully processed compost per m². Unlike most other vegetables, potatoes can tolerate fresh manure. You can mix it into the top 10 cm of soil in the spring.

Early potatoes are spaced 30 cm apart and 40 cm between rows. Late potatoes are spaced 35 cm and between 50 and 60 cm between rows. If you put three rows of late potatoes on a 120 cm bed, you get many small potatoes, while two rows yield somewhat larger potatoes. The yield is approx. the same.

Until the potatoes cover the soil, you keep weeds down by raising the soil in a violence around the potato plants. This also prevents the potatoes getting light and turning green. Another method, possibly combined with 1-2 hips, is a thick layer of soil cover with semi-composted compost. From the ground cover is applied to the potatoes being picked up, there is no work – seed weed simply cannot germinate.

With ground cover, it will usually not be necessary to water. However, if the soil is not well moist at the time when the potatoes are the size of hazelnuts, then it may be worth giving the potatoes 20-30 mm of water – it can mean many extra kilos of potatoes.

Harvest and storage

 

Potatoes are picked up on a lovely sunny day in late August, put to dry in the sun and packed in boxes / sacks that are kept dark, cool and frost-free. It is important to keep the temperature above 4-5 degrees Celsius, otherwise the starch will turn into sugar and the potatoes will taste sweet.

Important!

The potatoes must not turn green. If potatoes are exposed to light, they turn green and form the toxin solanine. If they have turned green, it is necessary to throw out the whole potato and not simply cut the green away.

Mold attack

Best remedy for mold is to put good sprouted potatoes as soon as the soil is convenient and warm enough. They can then develop to a maximum before any event. Mold attack sets in after mid-July. Be sure there are minimum of 8 cm of soil above the roots can prevent the rain from washing mold traces down to the roots.

If mold attacks come, there is only one thing to do: remove the top so the spores do not reach down and attack the roots. Put one foot on each side of the top and pull the top up – removing the stems as well. The potatoes should stay in the soil until August and ripen off.

Flower of potato

Cabbage

Cabbage is actually the oldest known vegetable and has been on the menu since ancient times.

There are many types of cabbage including:

  • White cabbage. Large, light green head with glossy, powerful leaves. The juicy leaves are crunchy crispy and the cabbage taste mild and sweet.
  • Red cabbage. Large, dark purple cabbage head with glossy, powerful leaves. The cabbage taste is more strong and bitter than cabbage.
  • Dense bushy cabbage in flower shape with luminous, white color. A crispy cabbage with a mild and nutty flavor.
  • Chinese cabbage. Elongated light green cabbage head with lettuce-like leaves. The cabbage taste is mild with a pleasant bitterness.
  • Savoy cabbage. A round dark green cabbage with rippled leaves. The leaves are glossy and have a nice texture. The cabbage taste is medium to strong.
  • Bushy cabbage in flower shape with strong dark green color. The taste is mild and rounded.
  • Brussel sprouts. Small pale green cabbage heads from the plant cane. The cabbage taste becomes milder when cooking.
  • Oblong, dark green leaves from the plant cane. The rippled, strong leaves have a strong cabbage taste.

Why eat and grow cabbage.

Cabbage is healthy. Cabbage contains many important nutrients, such as prevents cardiovascular disease, strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of diabetes, provides effective protection against cancer and keeps the gut moving. It is also rich in vitamins, fiber and other minerals. Fiber saturates well and makes it easier to hold the weight

You can prepare in countless ways. However, if you want the most health out of the cabbage, eat it raw or lightly steamed. Vigorous preparation can go beyond the content of healthy cabbage nutrients.

Cooking and use.

You can use cabbage in salads, soups and various cooked dishes. It can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, fried, pureed and marinated.

Some recipes

Cultivation of  cabbage.

Cabbage and seed change.

In order to prevent disease and pests it is necessary to have a seed change – this applies not least to cabbage, potatoes and peas. Seed change means switching crops on the different beds or pieces of soil, and each family must arrange its seed change to suit the consumption of vegetables. A simple change of seeds over 4 years is:

First year: cabbage
Second year: potatoes
Third year: cucumbers
Fourth year: root vegetables / onions.

You can easily grow your own cabbage, and contrary to what many believe, it is not at all difficult to make the cabbage grow in your kitchen garden. Just remember to give the cabbage plants plenty of fertilizer and plant them somewhere in the garden where they get plenty of sunshine.

Moreover, if you buy the cabbage as small plants instead of seeds, it make growing your cabbage easier.

The large cabbage species of cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower require space and a good nutritious soil.

The planting distance for red cabbage, white cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower should be 50-60 cm between the plants both in and between the rows. It is advantageous to displace the plant in the rows. This gives the individual plant the largest root volume and the plants cover the soil better, so that weeds are shaded away when the rows close.

Harvest and storage

Most cabbage species are harvested in the fall and winter. Follow these tips:

  • The harvest should as far as possible be made under dry conditions. There must not be water on the cabbages when harvest.
  • Do not cut the cabbage heads if they are frozen.
  • One must make sure to use clean knives.
  • You should harvest your cabbage before it gets too much frost, so as not to impair durability.

Storage is best done by harvest directly in large boxes, and stored at a temperature of 0-50 Celsius in a ventilated room.

Peas

Green peas are one of the best plant-based sources of protein, which is a major reason why they are so filling, along with their high amount of fiber.

There is different varieties of peas

  1. Marv Peas
    Marv Peas are the most common in the gardens. There is a variety of varieties with heights ranging from 40-50 cm and up to a few meters. The low and medium highs are the easiest to pick.
  2. Sugar peas
    Sugar peas do not have the cool impediments in the pods and you can eat them whole. You have to harvest while the pods are still flat and brittle. The varieties range from 40 to 75 cm high.

Why eat and grow 

Peas calorie content is low and come carbs and protein. Furthermore, peas contain just about every vitamin and mineral you need, in addition to a significant amount of fiber.

As with other legumes, peas will fix nitrogen in the soil, making it more available for other plants. In return, they require little extra fertility to grow and produce pods. This makes them a great companion plant, too.

Cooking and use.

Usually you eat pea’s fresh, but if you harvest many you can freeze them down. I like them as topping on different dishes. They taste great with carrots, cauliflower and beans

Cultivation of Peas

Remember that pea plants that have limited growing season.

The key to growing peas is to plant them early enough in spring so they mature while the weather is still cool. A second round of peas can be planted in the late summer or early fall.

Select a sunny location. While peas can grow in part shade, they will not be as sweet or productive as those grown in fully sun.

Soil must drain well. One of the few downfalls of growing peas is seed rot. Add compost to the planting site.

You put the seeds in 5-6 cm deep grooves in the soil, 5-8 cm apart. For the sake of later binding, it is a good idea to sow in double rows with a distance of 10-20 cm. You should sow the next double row about 50 cm away from the previous one, so you can come in and pick the peas.

The birds - especially the pigeons - love the freshly sown seeds and the newly sprouted peas. Therefore, cover the pea with branches or wire mesh until the plants are about 10 cm high.

Water sparsely unless the plants are wilting. If the weather is dry, water them periodically. Do not let plants dry out, or no pods will be produced.

Binding

Once germinated, peas will climb a fence or trellis to anywhere between 60 cm and 250 cm tall, depending on the sort.

The simplest form of binding is to prune twigs from pruning trees and shrubs into the soil on both sides of the double row. It is sufficient for peas with a height of 60-70 cm. A neat braid of bamboo, hazel or willow sticks between the double rows can make the pea bed a very decorative feature in the kitchen garden.

On the other hand, you can stick sticks in the ground at the end of the rows of peas and pull threads, cords or wire mesh between them and between the double rows. It also provides stable attachment for the meter-high varieties of peas.

Beans

The green beans are originally from Central and South America. Green beans are immature, fresh pods of seeds. They also called haricot hosts, which are termed new beans

Why eat and grow beans

Beans are healthy and nutritious, and the beans contain lots of good vitamins and nutrients. Among other things, you can find the following nutrients in beans:

  • The vitamins: A, B, C, E and K.
  • The minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc and lime.

They also have a high dietary fiber and protein content.

Cooking and use

You can use the beans for almost any cold or hot dishes.

You should not eat beans raw because they contain lectin, which can cause stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. When the beans are heated, this substance becomes harmless - so give them a quick boil, or warm them in another way before serving.

If the beans are dry in the pods (like seeds), they should be soaked and cooked. It is due to the content of the toxic protein lectin, which can induce vomiting, diarrhea and in severe cases abdominal cramps and bleeding. In addition to soaking dry beans, it reduces cooking time; it also reduces their unfortunate ability to give some air to the stomach.

Fresh beans should not be soaked before they can be cooked and eaten. How long to cook depends on how mature, they have become. Some beans should be cooked 15-30 minutes, depending on maturity and how cooked you want them.

Fresh (green) beans such as haricots verts only small amounts of lectins and only need to cook in 5-10 minutes depending on the size.

Cultivation of beans

There are two main types of beans:

  • Bush beans which grow to about 50 cm in height
  • Pole beans (the tall, climbing ones).

Pole beans must be tied up on an espalier or around cut branches. The height must be 2 meters or higher.

You will then need your beans to a depth of approx. 5 cm with a distance of 15 cm and 50 cm between each row. Water well in the groove before sowing, but never during germination as the seeds can rot.

You must sow your beans in warm soil or they will germinate poorly, or not at all. In addition, beans do not tolerate night frost both spring and fall. You just have to wait until the soil temperature is higher than approx. 14 ° C. The soil temperature must be 14 ° C all day. Therefore, if you want to make sure the beans are sprouting well, you should wait to sow them until it is summer.

You can also sow your beans in pots in the greenhouse and plant them out in the first half of June. Then you have strong plants from the start and avoid any holes in the row that may come if some bean seeds do not germinate.

Beans do not need a well-fertilized soil, as it is a nitrogen fixing plant. Beans appreciate a loose mound of soil and they quickly cover the soil.  Once the beans have received the first leaves, you can add a layer of ground cover.

You only need to remove weeds between the rows 1-2 times enough. After that, the bean plants pretty much fit themselves.

Beans cannot tolerate lack of water and they you must water before they start hanging with the leaves. In a normal summer, it is only necessary to water the beans during periods of drought.

Harvest and storage

Depending on what kind of beans you have planted - and weather conditions - you can harvest them after 50-70 days.

You can harvest beans in three stages of development:

  • Pods: Pick pods before seeds are developed. Although the pods can also be purple, yellow and green with red streak, they all called 'green beans'. If you have planted the common, green garden bean and want to get the thin haricots vert beans, just harvest them before they get too thick. The more you pick, the more new beans come.
  • Unripe seeds: You can also use the immature seeds in the big thick beans that you did not get harvested in time.
  • Mature and dry bean seeds: Make them dry on the ground as long as possible. Otherwise, you hung them up for post-drying after harvest.
    If you cannot make them dry, you can harvest and use them as fresh beans. You can freeze without blanching.

Storage of dry beans

You bellow the seeds when dry. Dried beans can be stored in paper bags in a cool room for several years. If enough space is available, the plants with the dry pods can be put away for later use in a dry place.

Carrots

The carrot derived from Afghanistan. Earlier the most popular carrots was the purple, white or red. Now the most popular variety is the orange.

Carrot is a swollen peel root. It contains about 8% sugars, which give it a mild and slightly sweet taste. The yellow color is due to the substance carotene,which is converted into vitamin A in the body. There are various varieties, of which some (carrots) are small and almost spherical.

Why eat and grow carrots.

Carrot is one of the most versatile vegetables found. Solid, crispy, super healthy, and then a carrot tastes great in everything from soup to juice, raw food and cake.

Carrot are rich in both potassium, iodine and dietary fiber, which promote digestion, regulate your blood sugar and prevent cardiovascular disease.

If you eat 2-4 carrot daily, it can help against bowel cancer. Carrot contains substances that can reduce tumors by 80%, shows experiments with rats.

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, enhancing your eyes.

Carrots vary greatly in size and thus also in weight. A small carrot can weigh 45 grams, a medium-sized approx. weighs 65 grams and a large one can weigh up to 145 grams. There are only 25 calories in a medium-sized carrot.

How to keep.

New carrots are available in summer and autumm. Stored they are available all year.

Keep your carrots in cool environments, so either store them in refrigerators in a cool room. In addition, if you place the carrots in a plastic bag with holes in it, you can increase the shelf life of the carrots so that condensation can escape. Carrots can stay 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Maximize the carrots crispness by sipping the top off before placing the carrots in the refrigerator. Revitalize carrots that have lost their brittleness by putting them in a bowl of cold water.

Cooking and use.

New scrubs, older ones scraped or peeled. Loss: about 15%.

If the roots are small and new, tyou can eat them directly, or cut into bars (if they are little older).

But they can also be switched, baked, fried, steamed and cooked – and they spice up everything from exotic food to European classics. Due to the juiciness and sweetness of the carrots, they are also wonderful to put in both buns and cakes.

Freezing: Cut into cubes or slices and blanched for approximate 2 minutes. They lose the brittleness after thawing.

Some recipes.

Cultivation of carrots

  • Planting distance: 5 cm.
  • Row spacing: So wide that you can remove weeds between rows
  • Depth: 1-2 cm.
  • Sowing time: Spring

Four tips when you grow carrots

  1. Thin out your carrots
    It can be difficult to sow carrots at 15cm intervals. Alternatively, sprinkle the small seeds into the row and thaw as they germinate.
  1. Remove weeds around your carrots
    Of course, you can only hatch when the small green peaks are big enough.
    However, then it is important to hatch, so that the weeds do not take the nourishment.3. Saw carrots early in the season
  1. Saw carrots early in the season
    The carrot fly is malicious. Its larvae gnaw itself into the carrot and make ugly rings around your otherwise lovely carrots. You can avoid it by first doing so early in the season.
  1. Move your carrots every year
    Also, make sure you first sow carrots in the same place four years after. Then you avoid the carrot fly larvae in the ground next year.

Compost

You can easily turn your garden waste and green kitchen waste into finished compost in 1-2 years. You use the compost as soil improvement and to fertilize the plants in the garden.

The contents of compost.

Compost is degraded organic matter. You can make compost from your garden waste, which can consist of finely divided branches, leaves and perennials. You can also use green kitchen waste. The garden waste becomes compost by a microbiological process where microorganisms such as fungi break down the dead organic matter.

Completely degraded compost is a dark brown residue that is relatively rich in potassium and phosphorus, but relatively poor in nitrogen. When the compost encounters the soil, it becomes what we call humus.

The main advantage of retaining as much garden waste as possible on your own land is that you can make a good and nutritious compost that you can put on your garden soil to improve the soil. If you make soil improvement with compost will the soil structure and micro-life improve.

There are other benefits:

  • You save money for fertilizer.
  • You do not have to bring the garden waste at the recycling site.

How to make.

In nature, dead plant parts are decomposed where they fall to the ground.

Of course, you can leave withered plant parts in the beds and let them broke down there. You can cut small branches, plant stems into smaller pieces, and put them on the soil. The soil cover retains moisture in the soil and it will eventually decompose into compost, which improves the soil.

But, it is better if you collect the garden waste in a compost pile or compost bin.

Here you can also compost your green kitchen waste. It will increase the nutrient content of the finished compost.

At the same time, it allows you to apply the compost exactly to the places in the garden where you want to improve the soil.

There are two ways to compost:

  • Cold composting
  • Hot composting

Cold compost: 

  • Lay a layer of smaller branches and twigs in the bottom of the compost bin / pile.
  • Mix garden waste and kitchen waste well and place it on top.
  • You can keep adding new green waste until the container is full. Remember to mix the different types of waste.
  • Water the pile through well.
  • Tires if applicable the pile with a tarpaulin so you keep moist and the nutrients do not wash out when it rains. Remember to water the pile if it is covered.
  • The decomposition is faster if you occasionally turn the compost around, mixes the material or moves it into a new pile.
  • After 1-2 years, the compost is finished. You can also use the partially ground compost for ground cover.
  • All green kitchen and garden waste can be used on the compost pile.

Hot compost:

Hot composting requires large amounts of garden and kitchen waste and a little more effort, but has more advantages than cold composting:

  • Disease germs, pests and weeds are killed, as the compost material becomes approx. 60 degrees hot during the breakdown.
  • Revenue goes faster. Already after 2-3 months you have semi-processed compost. It is fully traded in ½-1 year.

You must have a large pile of garden waste, at least 1 m3 and preferably more, to be able to heat compost. It is necessary for the temperature inside the pile to rise sufficiently during the decomposition.

The pile should be covered with a tarpaulin, an old rug, a thick layer of straw or the like to keep the heat inside.

If you want to be sure to kill germs and weeds, you reshuffled the pile after a few weeks when the temperature inside the pile begins to drop. That is, with a grip you move around the compost material so that the outermost material comes inside and vice versa.

If you choose heat composting, you cannot use compost worms that thrive best at a temperature of about 25 degrees. Compost storms die if the temperature drops below freezing point or above 28 degrees.

What to use and not to use.

You can use this in the compost pile

  • Withered flowers and stems
  • Cut flowers
  • hedge clippings
  • Remains from vegetables and fruits
  • Fallen leaves
  • Falling Fruit
  • Discarded potted plants
  • Fertilizers from rabbits, chickens, horses, etc.
  • Twigs and branches cut into smaller pieces¹
  • Eggshells¹
  • Coffee filters with coffee¹
  • Tea leaves and filters¹
  • Paper towel¹
  • Orange Peel¹

¹ Can be composted but takes a relatively long time to decompose.

Do not use in the compost pile.

  • Stinging plants, such as roses, thistles, tar, barberry, as they are unpleasant to handle.
  • Meat and remnants of prepared food as it smells and can attract rats and foxes.
  • Fertilizer from cats and dogs as it may contain parasites that infect humans.
  • Shells from sprayed bananas and citrus fruits as the sprays can inhibit degradation.
  • Ash from the stove as it contains many toxic heavy metals.
  • Pressurized wood, newspapers, and magazines with ink as they can contain toxic substances.
  • Weeds – especially weeds in flower and roots from perennial weeds such as squash cabbage.²
  • Sick plants, for example, plants with radiation spots, mildew or the like, and plants that are attacked by pests.²

² Applies only to cold composting. Plant diseases such as cabbage herb, potato mold or rust diseases you must be careful with. But it assumes temperatures will reach about 50 degrees inside the compost.

How to use.

Fully processed compost

Completely composted compost is similar to light and porous mud soil. Fully converted compost is used as fertilizer as the plants can immediately absorb the nutrients in it. Therefore, you should also use only fully-grown compost in the garden in the spring. In winter, the plants do not absorb the nutrients and therefore do not use because the nutrients are washed away by the rain.

It is very different how much nourishment is in compost. It depends on what you threw on the compost pile. Ordinary garden compost can usually meet the plants’ needs for phosphorus, potassium and lime, while it may be necessary to give the plants extra nitrogen fertilizers, especially the very nutrient-demanding and fast-growing plants such as vegetables and summer flowers. If you use only compost to fertilize your plants, nitrogen deficiency will develop over time and your plants will slowly gain yellowish leaves and lose some of their growing power. Nitrogen acts as fuel on the plant engine.

You can increase the nitrogen content in your compost by adding animal manure, such as the waste from chickens or some other form of barnyard manure.

As a rule of thumb, add a layer of compost of approx. 4 cm in the beds every 3-5. year or approx. 1 cm every year. If the compost is very nutritious, for example because it contains animal manure or larger amounts of green kitchen waste, you need to use half as much – i.e. only approx. 0.5 cm per year. Mix the compost into the upper soil layer with a grip or similar.

You will benefit most from your compost if you put it out in the early spring when the plants start to grow.

In the kitchen garden and in beds with summer flowers you can mix the top soil layer with 4 cm garden compost before planting or sowing. You should never sow in compost as the seeds can then have a hard time germinating.

Semi-processed compost

Semi-digested compost is coarser, smells a bit acidic and still contains residues of not fully digested plant parts.

Semi-processed compost you can put in the beds on top of the soil. Here, the compost eventually forms completely and the nutrients are released at the same time so that the plants can absorb them. Semi-digested compost also improves soil structure and retains moisture in the soil.

You can put semi-processed compost in the beds in the fall. The nutrients are not washed out during the winter. They are bound in the compost and are released only when the temperature rises in the spring and the decomposition starts again.

Problems

The compost is too dry

The compost must not become too dry, as the decomposition of organic matter then stops. In dry weather, it may therefore be necessary to water the compost. The compost is moist if you can squeeze a few drops of water out of a handful of compost material.

If the compost is covered with a tarpaulin or similar, it may be necessary to water it with 10 liters of water 1-2 times a month during the summer months. Some times, more often if the weather is very hot and dry.

The compost smells ugly

A compost pile will only smell ugly if it does not work properly. Compost should smell of forest floor debris.

If the compost pile smells very ugly, it is because there is not enough oxygen inside the compost material for degradation. Instead, the garden waste is starting to rot. If the pile is very wet, it is easier to decay.

You can avoid this by mixing the garden waste well. Mix the moist garden waste, eg grass clippings, leaves and vegetable residues, well with more dry and coarse garden waste such as branches, twigs, dry plant stems and the like. That way more air enters the compost.

If things go wrong and the pile stinks, you can solve the problem by flipping the whole pile on the ground, mixing it well and throwing it back in the compost bin. You can also mix in more dry and coarse garden waste if the pile is very wet.

Read more:

Compost: Accelerate the process and Compost bins.