Garden with raised mounds 2016 (3rd year)

Like last year, we collected organic material in the forest during the winter. It’s always handy to cover new seedlings and sow more simply without having to dig. It’s also because we want the mounds to reach 80-100cm high in the future and a lot of material is still needed to get there!
We planted a lot of cuttings we collected here and there to start the hedge. Laurels, amorphas, lavateras, yew trees, gooseberries, blackcurrants, flowering blackcurrants, raspberries, cherry trees, blackthorns, plum trees, apple trees, pear trees, honey trees, rose bushes, mulberry trees and other small plants / bushes which we do not yet know the name. We also planted around a thousand flowers in the mounds and in the inner garden of which many bulbous as many are toxic (for rodents to feel less comfortable :) ). Iris, cedar, tulips, pierce snow, lilies, forget-me/myosotis, squills, hydrangeas, etc.
We also sowed leeks between the strawberries and carrots and beets in very large quantities (easily 10000 carrots and 1000 beets) on the fly, they’ll germinate when they germinate, or not :-) The goal always being that there are so many vegetable seeds in the soil for them to grow a little wildly everywhere. We’re waiting for next fall (August-October) to sow cabbage, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, shallots and on the whole, seeds of the cabbage and alliums family as I noticed last year that it’s the time when they sow themselves naturally, they go to seed in August and fall to the ground at that time.

2016.03.19 :
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Everything is going very well :-) Installation of the outer fence, raptor poles, hedges etc.

2016.04.30 :
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Small update, not much happened since the weather has been quite good for 2 weeks but then cold and very cold for the next 2 weeks, the growth of everything came to a halt for a while.

2016.05.09 :
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Small inspection, some tomatoes are still alive. And I also sowed new sweet peas with ricinus seeds at the same time, as those seeds are toxic (as much as the plant itself), this is to make life very hard for rodents!

2016.05.16 :
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There were still some frosts at night. Most of the cabbages/kales are still there, the tomatoes had a very hard time, only one or two are still alive, which is already great! The sweet peas I resowed last week are still in place, the first from a month ago had too much troubles with the cold.
As for the rodents, I had new ideas of poppy seeds, bitter almonds and licorice. There are supposedly very toxic for them, so if we can sow some of those at the same time as we sow other things they like, it should be very disturbing for them, while waiting for the natural predators. Since we still have to make these buzzards/owls pillars and will need to wait a couple of years for edges where foxes can hangout close. :)

2016.05.28 :
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Overview, everything is going really well. Having the green house always full of new plants and being planted outside as soon as they’re ready to go out is working well. Btw. something that has never been mentioned, we always skip the usual hardening periods for plants on purpose, we do that on purpose so that plants are encouraged to become more robust by having to adapt quicker to big environmental/climatic differences.

2016.06.12 :
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Everything is going and growing quite well :-)
No need to tell us about carnivorous indian runner or kakhi cambells ducks and other ones like those for slug control. :-)
We know them, but the place is not yet setup to enable us to have them there, because that field is far removed for houses, if we place ducks there we have to be sure they’re safe and have water. For the moment, that’s not ready ;-)
And it’s good that plants learn to adapt and become much more robust, if slugs finish them, it’s because the plants are not healthy, you can see it with wild plants, the jerusalem artichokes do not get eaten that must, neither do wild carrots. These plants just learned to live in perfect harmony with all their surroundings for hundreds of years qithout human intervention :)

2016.07.15 :
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Small visit of the garden, many plants are growing very well. We discovered that chick peas can grow very well in Lorraine :)
Some plants struggled quite a lot during the rain period that lasted around 2 months, salads, squashes, tomatoes, cabbages died. But the most robust are still here.
Some Chinese cabbages went directly to seed, they struggled, hence the survival mechanisms kicked in, create the next offspring that will be more apt to resist!
Else, another detail that is important and that I forgot to explain in details, around here a lot of people failed growing their salads, they all went to seed directly, these people were using anti-slug products… Whereas, yes we lost some, but the onces that withstood the slugs are all great looking now and not going to seed at all, it clearly seems that slugs attacks on salads help them to produce more leaves to protect themselves.
These kinds of observations are very interesting to look at in a completely natural environment. The good development of some plants depends on an interaction with the fauna!
You’ll see it next time, many cucumbers (of my own seed already quite robust!) had to endure harsh conditions, the main stem just grew and grew for 30-40cm without ever managing to make one leaf, slugs were eating it all, but they survived, hence these will be some more good seeds for next year!

2016.07.17 :
Some pictures for a change :)

First mound :

Second mound :

Third mound :

Fourth mound :

Fifth mound :

Raspberry cuttings from the autumn 2016, winter 2016 are taking their place nicely on the west side of the interior garden.

A fig tree that is setting up roots in the harsh conditions :)

The north side of the interior garden, some raspberries that are there since 2 years now and aromatic plants, thyme, rosemary, sage, laurel, mint. Everything is installing itself nicely and slowly.

The east side, the gooseberries, blackcurrants and flowering currants from cuttings from the autumn 2015 and winter 2016 are also setting up nicely.

The most robust and healthy eggplant of the garden!

This tomato plant is growing very quickly!

That one (most probably, cherry tomatoes) produces an amazing amount of flowers, interesting to follow!

And the east side of the exterior garden with butternuts and pickles freshly planted that seem to be handling it very well. :)

2016.08.05 :
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Slowly but surely, we learn new things about the natural regulation of the fauna. :)
There is a small addition at the end, in the greenhouse, because a rodent (or many?) is present and eating all the squashes seeds planted for over a month and a half. It took me time to understand. So there are many missing squashes in the garden this year (again because of rodents like last year, but not the same way ;) ), it is frustrating, I lost a lot of my own seeds stored from the previous years, but hey, I learn for the future. Either place custom wire cages over each seedling tray (at the moment this is the most feasible option) or raising the trays, or for the future in a broader and holistic point of view, in a large greenhouse, always have one or a few cats around! Again the best natural method of controlling rodents and all the fauna is to coordinate and understand the hierarchy of predators in full. Still, for the moment, in this small greenhouse that is not yet possible.

2016.09.21 :
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Not much to say, it was time to collect some seeds and sow others to keep on increasing the diversity in vegetables of the place.
Harvest of cucumbers, the ones that lasted the longest (april to september), harvest of some salad seeds and sowing on the fly of others, same goes for the celeriacs.
As far as tomatoes are concerned it was still too early, we’re waiting till the end for the ones that withstand the most the climatic conditions of autumn (eating the other meanwhile :) ).
I also found one commercial carrot, there should be more coming when/if it rains in September (which is the period where they can naturally resow themselves)
We’ve also sown various onions/leeks/cabbages/kales etc. on the fly; it’s the time, so they’ll be there to take root naturally when they can.

We’ve also added a grass to cover the soil, to not have high grass below the gooseberries/currants.

Else there are also some very late squashes (planted very late!).
Let’s see in october what happens next :)

2016.10.11 :
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Small update, since last tile we had two weeks of quite cold and rainy weather, which almost killed most plants that cannot withstand frost, because in this humid and entrapped by the forest the temperature differences are exacerbated, hence some frost already occurred, or temperatures very close to zero during the night. Hence it’s time to collect some seeds :)