Gardening in 2022-2023: observations, harvest and next year's plans

Jeremie LitzlerAbout 5 minGardening

Compost heaps

I made 2 heaps:

  • one for the compost toilets
  • one for the kitchen and garden wastes

January 1st, 2023

I made a second kitchen and garden wastes heap because the first one was full

I took 2h30 to build it from recycled pallets.

See how I made them in this article

Autumn leaf harvest

October 30th and 31st, 2022

  • I picked up 4 trailers full of plane tree (Platanus Platanos)
  • The girls liked emptying the trailer, they loved rolling into the stack of leaves afterwards 😉

November 27th, 2022

  • I picked up 2 trailers full of some small leaves tree (???) in Saint-Jean-De-Muzols
  • We, the twins and I,
    • applied more cardboard to the patways.
    • added some large borage (Borago officinalis) to the kitchen compost

December 11th, 2022

  • I picked up 2 trailers full of some small leaves (???) in Saint-Jean-De-Muzols.
  • I finished filling up the kitchen compost with borage as all the plants had been cooked by the -5° C that weekend.
    • I need to build up another compost bin!

December 18th, 2022

  • We picked with the twins some nice small leaves that we have found on the usual hiking route.
    • It filled about a trailer full of leaves
  • We topped it up with the leaves of Saint-Jean-De-Muzols's park.

December 25th, 2022

  • We set out to gather leaves in Saint-Jean-De-Muzols's park, but we had a surprise.
    • The city-hired gardeners to shred branches and they left a huge pile of fragmented wood!
    • We manage to get 2 trailers full of it.
    • It is just what I needed to cover the garden alleys.
    • Hopefully, I can get another trailer before it is gone.
    • I need about 3 trailers to cover all the alleys with a 5 cm layer of wood chips.
    • In this case, it will break down much fast

January 1st, 2023

  • I picked another trailer-full of dead leaves. It'll probably be the last round next week.

January 8th, 2023

  • Today was the last pickup of those abundant dead leaves, which in total I gathered 12 trailer-full, equivalent to 12 meters cube of leaves.
  • We will see how I use it apart from covering the beds for winter, adding brown material in the compost and composting toilet wastes.

Fragmented wood and woodchips

Two years ago, I applied woodchips in the alleys of the garden.

At the end of 2022, they are pretty much gone. And the weeds have taken over once more.

The prerequisite is the layer of cardboard so I can make sure few weeds grow back. I started to apply it early november and almost all the alleys and non-cultivated areas have been covered.

December 25th, 2022

As we went out to pick leaves, we managed to pick 2 trailers full of fragmented wood, which was enough to cover two third of the alleys.

January 1st, 2023

Unfortunately, the remaining pile of fragmented wood was picked up during the past week. Still I managed to recover a good 15 bags of the remaining scraps (the bags were the pellet bags that usually contains 15 kg of pellets).

So, I'd say it was about half a trailer worth of fragmented wood.

I will need to complete the alley covering when I find time to go buy woodchips at the local sawmill.

Organisation and design

January 8th, 2023

I have purchased a subscription from Terra Potager](), a french web application that helps you organize and track your sowing planning and design your garden beds.

Given the setup of my garden, it will take some time to get started.

It contains what other gardeners do in France. So maybe, I'll use their suggestions on when and what to plan in my garden.

Shelter for the winter

January 8th, 2023

As I describe in the garlic and broad bean section, I planted them early novembre, but with the mild winter we are having, they sprouted easily.

As I am sure how they will handle frost, I've build some kind of tunnel to deploy and fold whenever I need so the frost doesn't kill the plan if it comes in the next months.

I made it so it can fold and deploy easily.

I use this winter garden coveropen in new window which I bought already 2 years ago. It is a goood quality product and it doesn't tare easily, even after 2 years. I recommend.

I need a good amount so the 48 m² of this option leaves me with some left for the kiwai and the beds I haven't work on today.

Here are a few pictures of the build:

View of the bed from south to north with unfolded cover
I use pallet planks to ensure the cover drops naturally. It should be sufficient against the wind.
View of the bed from north to south with folded cover
To keep the cover folder, I use a string.
View of the bed from south to north with folded cover
View of the bed from south to north with folded cover

Garlic

October 31st, 2022

  • I planted about 130 garlic seeds (equivalent to 821 grams) in various areas of the garden in order to evaluate what the garlic likes most.
  • The garlic seeds was purchased from our main organic food store, because it was cheap and available.

November 20th, 2022

  • I see garlic coming out! Too early, isn't it?

December 11th, 2022

  • The garlic that has come out is resisting the frost. Will it last?
    • I still need to plant planting some more (where the tomatoes usually go)

December 25th, 2022

  • The garlic keeps coming out.
  • What was already out 2 weeks ago is still there and has survived the frost.

January 1st, 2023

Here is the picture of the growing garlic.

Garlic in leafy garden bed
Garlic in leafy garden bed

I'm still not sure they will survive.

So I am planning to plant some more in the gaps between the ones growing and in the beds where I usually plant the tomatoes.

Just to make sure, in case of severe frost, that I will have something.

However, I think I will delay next year the planting to mid december. We'll see how it goes.

And BTW, the same goes for the broad beans.

Broad beans

November 13th, 2022

  • We planted them along the fancing where the Kury squash grew this year.
  • My goal is to use the fence to hold the broad beans in the spring.

December 11th, 2022

  • The top of the bean are out... Is it a problem with frost? I'm going to wait and see.
  • Meanwhile, I will plant more in the bed where we planted the climbing beans 2 years ago.

December 25th, 2022

  • The temperatures are much nicer (around 10 °C or more during the day and not lower than 5 °C during the night)
  • So the beans have really come out

January 1st, 2023

Here is the picture of the growing broad beans.

Garlic in leafy garden bed
Garlic in leafy garden bed

See the comment in the garlic's section about the early rising of the plants.

Strawberries

==November 6th, 2022

  • We planted them in the well-nurished compost under the oak tree.

Nettles

October 3rd

  • I used some leaves and roots to prepare a tincture.

November 13th, 2022

  • I had to clean up the nettles as they were very numerous.
  • I tooks some of the roots out and put it on the compost heap.

January 1st, 2023

It is clearly over until the spring. Can't wait to pick those tender nettle for drying and soups.