TCN Put Me on Corona Gardening Leave: Part 2

Total Croatia News


May 9th, 2020 – In a series of articles on Total Croatia News read about how one of the authors decided to spend her corona-caused gardening leave – actually gardening. Today, you can find out more about how the soil was prepared and seeds sowed (you can read the first article in the series here).

If you know anything about gardening or plants in general, after having seen my photos and reading my description of the soil in which I planned, to put those seeds, you must’ve asked yourself a version of this question “Is she insane!?!?”, followed by “Well, nothing is coming out of that horrible soil, she’s working for nothing here…”

Well, allow me to comfort you: I know. I know that there’s no way anything would succeed in such bad soil, no matter how many days I spend taking rocks out one by one by hand. And, coincidentally, I have exactly what I need to turn my soil into normal, fertile soil. I have compost which has been created in my back yard. You might’ve noticed in the previous article a large, blue barrel in the corner of my yard (you can also see it in the first photo in this article), that’s where the compost gets made. We’ve been collecting our biodegradable waste for years, much longer than the city of Zagreb has had an organized collection of such waste in brown bags. During everyday cooking, the biodegradable waste gets deposited into a used ice-cream container (of course you can purchase a container just for that, the only requirement is for it to have a decent seal of the lid, but if you continue following this series you will discover that it’s important to me NOT to buy new stuff if at all possible, rather use the stuff already lying around and repurpose it if at all possible). The container is in the fridge and its contents get dumped into the blue bucket outside every couple of days. After the mowing, that’s where the grass also goes, the leaves from the trees in the autumn and any other biodegradable waste which we happen to have during the year. The bucket has a small door near the bottom, and that’s how we take the compost out, hi-quality, perfect natural compost, ideal for the grass I keep mentioning or some of the herbs I regularly have on my shelves. This year, obviously, most of my compost went into the garden. I can’t even tell you how much of it we took out of the bucket and put into the soil, but you just have to take my word when I tell you it was a lot, and that I really believe we won’t have any problems with the soil quality after that.


And after having dropped all of that compost, chopped it up and prepared the soil nice and neatly, of course, the soil level rose a bit and it started looking like the soil would get washed away, onto the tiles just below it. I have to say I anticipated that, so I knew in advance a little fence would be required to prevent that from happening. Good thing I still have a lot of leftovers from a former fence I needed to take down, and a partner who owns an electric saw and isn’t afraid to use it. We built the little fence fast enough, and I’m still proud of it – and happy to report that it was able to do its job through the heavy rains that have fallen in Zagreb since, after a long drought.

I mentioned in the previous article that I’ve purchased parsley, carrot, swiss chard, spinach, rocket and zucchini seeds. Parsley doesn’t go into this little patch of garden, it is already growing nicely in a separate container where I have my herbs, where this year it will hang out with some lovely basil. They’re in the pot together, I’ve used some leftover nylon to build them a little greenhouse and they’re doing OK.

That leaves five species, meaning I need to create 5 sections in my garden. It took some drawing and calculating and tailoring, but eventually, I settled on this plan:


(This is exactly how a normal person would do their plan for their 3 square meters garden, right?) The zucchini needed to go to one of the edges, so if I get any zucchini, they can grow partially on the outside as well. I concluded that the carrot should be by the hedge, and I’m entirely certain there was a reason why I wanted the spinach to be where it is in the drawing, but I can’t remember that now. The rocket and swiss chard positions have been determined completely randomly. I measured my little garden, partitioned it using the already-mentioned pieces of the fence into even smaller parts and carefully, according to the instructions, sowed my 5 vegetables.

And that should be it, right, the only thing left for me to do is water the garden and wait for the plants to start appearing. Or can I think of something else which will improve their chances? Read in the upcoming article.


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