Garden with raised mounds 2015 (2nd year)

In November, December, January we went many times to the garden to collect wood and leaves from the surrounding forest to have enough matter to be able to cover our plantations! We didn’t have enough last year, which made us fail many sowings and plantings… We also found around 3m³ of RCW from local hardwood.

2015.04.24: First visit since more than 3 months. Global view.

The wheat held well, taking into account that we never took care of anything…

A small view of the different mounds, we did nothing there today. On the first one, a couple of radishes are growing, a friend wanted to make a small tunnel, but if no one is there to care about it, it won’t work! Hence the radishes sown in winter are germinating now. :)

There are also leeks and onions here and there..

The potatoes were impatient. :)

We removed a lot of the sprouts to be able to take them out of the bag…

And then had the envy to try and plant the sprouts only! With the most lazy method possible, lying on the ground, covered with straw and other organic rests. If it works well, it means that by keeping a potato, you have 2 seeds! The potato and the sprout that grows during the winter…

For the mound we used the Bolivian method as well, place teh potatoes on the ground and cover with a good layer of straw, that we’ll thicken as the potatoes grow. That’s it.

You can see the mound and the test part with sprouts on the right.

2015.05.22 :
On the 14th of may we transplanted many plants from the greenhouse outside, well before what is usually done in our region, before the last likely frosts, especially on this terrain which exacerbates the temperature differences during the night.
Celeriacs, tomatoes, some squashes, salads. And climbing beans and peas, but frankly it’s useless to transplant them, its much simpler to sow the outside straight away, we won’t do it again!

The squashes, Turkish gourds and queen blue, you can see they were well developed under the greenhouse and put outside way too early on purpose!

The transplanted climbing beans…

On the 20th of may you can still see the squashes and tomatoes just before 2 nights of frosts.

The climbing peas and beans as well.

On the video made on the 22nd (the sound is missed, you have to increase the volume a lot to hear something!), you can see the tomatoes and squashes that were well affected by the frosts, but they held on.

2015.06.07 :
About 15 days later, the squashes resisted and grew back even stronger and the tomatoes are regrowing healthily as well.

2015.06.13 :
Nothing special to report, everything is going wonderfully well, the plants are growing and we’re adding new ones. It has been very dry since more than a month, it rained quickly just 2-3 times during the last month. I leave you with the video :)

2015.06.23 :
Link to the video:
Plants are growing well in the garden, but that’s not what is the most important to present to you in this video, it’s the second part, wild vegetables. :)
What I forgot to explain in the video is that it will take time, because at first it will be hard to spot any of the randomly dispersed seeds the grow, but overtime they’ll surely form patches that will become easily noticeable.
What I forgot to explain in the video is that in nature there are plenty of seeds, each plant makes them by the hundreds or even thousands. They fall on the ground, or are dispersed by the wind, by insects, by birds, by animals twiddling the plants. You must also understand that all this flora helps to bury these seeds so that they can germinate the next years, heavy animals trample on the seeds, ants modify the shape of the soil and also help cover the seeds, moles, rodents do the same, they also eat some, but it’s normal, there are so many seeds!
Some seeds can also germinate just by laying on the ground.
It’s a mix of all, we just have to let nature what she does best, perpetuate herself, diversify herself and adapt herself locally. :)
And also have faith in the beings of nature, elves, gnomes, etc. They are there and also work in the invisible realms, we just have to explain them what to do (by thought it’s enough :) ), or simply ask them to do what they feel is best. That’s it, the visible and invisible elements of nature take care of everything, you’ll see. :)

2015.07.03 :
Link to the video:

2015.07.11 :
Link to the video:

2015.08.06 :
Link to the video:–E_H2D0R0
I’m sharing with you interesting information about rodents, given that this year apparently the heat has been very beneficial for their proliferation and that the interactions fauna/flora are yet far from being equilibrated in that garden. Their abundant and prolonged presence allowed me to notice that there are obviously some plants they prefer and others they never touch. It’s valid for my region, Lorraine in France, I can’t guarantee that it’ll be the same everywhere else, most surely it won’t ;)

  • Plants they like
    • Potatoes : I don’t think all varieties attract them, but surely many are!
    • Cantaloupes : there was only one variety in the garden so I can’t comment more.
    • Watermelons : same here, only one variety. But I think they must like all varieties, these plants must have a similar taste..
    • Pumpkin/Squashes : only of the types pumpkins (small, big). They didn’t touch the turkish gourds, or other varieties in the garden. Generally speaking pumpkins are like cantaloupes with very low sugar!
    • Wheat : they’re rodents, they like seeds :) That being said, it seems some mutations of wheat were left untouched (the most robust ones!).
    • Beetroots : observed in my vegetable garden.
    • Carrots : all varieties, observed in my vegetable garden.
  • Plants they don’t touch
    • Tomatoes : all varieties. However they can eat the ripe tomatoes close to the ground. :)
    • Beans : all varieties.
    • Green peas : there’s only one variety in the garden, but I tend to think rodents don’t eat any plants from the leguminous family as a general rule.
    • Salads : all varieties.
    • Cabbages : there are two varieties in the garden, but I also have kohlrabi at home and they never bothered it either. I think they don’t like cabbages in general.
    • Parsnips : this is based on my own garden, they ate carrots, beetroots, potatoes, but nothing happened on the parsnips..
    • Celeriacs : they don’t seem to attract them.
    • Radishes, turnips : generally, it seems that root vegetables with a strong taste don’t attract them.
    • Sweet/hot peppers : we didn’t distinguish them when sowing them, and they have no fruits for the moment so we can’t still differentiate them. But like their tastes for other things, I’d tend to think they are attracted by sweet peppers, not hot ones, even the plant must have a hot taste for them!
    • Eggplants : no signs of any tries to eat them.
    • Zucchinis : as I said above, squashes of the pumpkin type attract them, but not zucchini, neither many other varieties. Cantaloupes, watermelons, pumpkins are all cucurbitaceae with a tendency to a sweet taste, I think this is what attracts them, the plant must reflect the sweetness of the fruits :)
    • Cucumbers : they don’t touch them, like zucchini, these are cucurbitaceae as well, but without a sugary taste.
    • Swiss chards : observed in my garden where I have many small ones, no signs of rodents nearby.
    • Asparaguses : the ones I have at home don’t seem to get visits from rodents.
  • To be determined
    • Onions, garlics, leeks : I don’t have enough experience to confirm it, we sowed almost none this year, but it seems that the taste doesn’t attract them that much. However, without anything more tasty nearby I guess they can eat them!
    • Potatoes : observations in my garden where I have 4 varieties seem to indicate that they have preferences. The red ones with a hard inside don’t have much signs of rodents, whereas the violet/blue (much softer) we’re eaten in parts! I’ll try to test more varieties in the next years. Still, we need the presence of many rodents?? I can’t control nature, she teaches me what she wants when she wants it, I must follow her guidance :)
    • Mint : it also seems that some varieties of mints act as repellents, because near some types of mints in my garden I’ve seen no signs of rodent activity..

That’s already quite good and it gives me ideas! maybe we can diminish the overpopulation of rodents we have on the terrain simply by not planting what they seem to prefer! Evidently while also promoting a good environment for their natural predators, we’ll place tall masts for buzzards, because they already come quite often to hunt around the place in the evening!
If we’d had time we would already have done it. I want also to make houses for tawny owls (big rodent predators), but without a big tree close to the garden i don’t know if it will work..
We’ll see, anyway next year we’ll probably have new surprises and lessons, climate changes, this year it was really dry and hot. What will happen if the spring/summer is quite wet and not very warm ;)
We also plan on making a small pond, for toads/frogs who love slugs (we have not seen many this year), the presence of water will surely be also convenient for hedgehogs if we setup good shelters for them?
If we could, we would have introduced cats, but that’s for later, when we live in the middle of our field :) It’s a balance, because after that, the cats hunt small birds, we must set hedges and trees so that they can have places to protect themselves from the cats…
We’ll see, there are still many things to do. :)

2015.08.12 :
Link to the video:
A small details about rodents to add, a rat ate a turkish gourd plant (not a mouse or fieldmouse)… I must do with rats, mice and fieldmice! What a great training ground. :)
In the video I also talk about the surrounding imbalance that must be taken into account, human activity unbalances the whole of nature, wild animals like good foods, with natural cultures it’s obvious that they’ll be more attracted than by what’s around! It’s to be taken into account by those who want to start something somewhere, at the beginning they’ll be quite a lot of re-balancing to do, the predator/prey cycles at all scales must be rethought intelligently so that the surrounding unbalances don’t affect too much the culture zone, the more nature is balanced, the less work for us!
I am naturally conscious that the garden itself is not yet balanced, but I noticed a much broader detail concerning us and the rodents. Since plowing kills a lot of rodents in the fields around, that also means less predators (they have less food) hence in our case, we don’t disturb them they can live freely in the ground as they wish. But we need the population of their natural predators to increase, all we can do is help by creating welcoming conditions. Mostly Buzzards and Owls, since we’re not allowed to have cats there, which might have been simpler in the short term… Though in the long run, owls and buzzards are better because we won’t need to feed them at all. :)

2015.08.29 :
Link to the video:

Combined video for all gardens. I’m mostly still trying to figure out the rodents life cycle!

2015.10.9 :
Link to the video:
Not much to say, we’re waiting for the seeds.