March 31, 2014
We had some more below freezing nights and days in the 30s but I am hoping we are done with those days!
We allowed the chicks to do some monitored free-ranging once the temps rose above freezing. They are so cute!
There was a tree trimming company last week at a neighbor’s house so we invited them to dump the mulch at our house.
(load #1 of 6 or so)
They stayed in the area for a whole week. We now have about as much mulch as we did when Asplundh came two years ago. I am using the new mulch on areas that we want to suppress grass-growth and saving the old, decomposed mulch for planting areas. (You can see the newer mulch in the foreground. We’re just trying to cover more grass — less places to mow. Only a little got done that day because it was so windy and because I’m so stinkin’ pregnant!)
The edges of the garden are the worst for creeping grass so my husband is trying to nip that in the bud by putting chicken tunnel around the majority of the garden. The chickens are loving it and are doing a wonderful job. The only problem is, they are eating grass faster than it is growing right now, since we are still at the beginning of spring.
(Tunnel goes all around the garden area. You can see the raised mulch area – potato patch – and beyond that are all of the blueberry bushes, which you cannot see yet because they are still bare right now)
My mom ordered strawberries for me for Christmas this past year. They came in this week and as soon as the weather warmed (to about 60), I planted them. I had already prepared a strawberry patch this past fall with chicken & horse manure and wood chips. I measured it and thought I could fit 90 plants. She ordered 50 so I went ahead and planted spinach and lettuce on the border of the patch. Not surprisingly, I must have measured incorrectly or something because only about 40 strawberry plants fit in my strawberry patch 😉 No worries. I planted the rest close by. I plan on expanding every year anyway.
(25 of the plants — look at those beautiful roots!)
(I found some cow compost in the shed when I cleaned it out last month so I mixed that compost with some of our chicken compost from out of the run for a planting medium for the strawberry plants.) (It is really difficult to see the baby plants right now so here is a close-up of one of them.)
The weekend was warmer but extremely windy and rainy so I planted here and there when I could. Along with my strawberry plants, I was able to get all of my peas planted, some beets, and some onions.
My 6th child/third trimester body can only do so much at once. I find that after only an hour of planting, I am worn out! Just pitiful! With all that needs to be planted, I’ll have to just go out when I can and stick with it until everything is planted…especially since we are at a later start than normal because of our long winter this year.
So from now until…? I will be planting, little by little and when I am not planting, I will be weeding. There are not many weeds, thanks to the mulch. However, two types are relentless: bermuda grass and wild onion 😛 I’ve gotta say though, pulling weeds in the mulch is a whole different ball game than pulling in dirt. It is easier, it does not need to be done as frequently…comparatively, it is wonderful! If you have not yet, go check out the Back to Eden Film!
I am still nervous (because of my impatience) about the lack of sprouts in my greenhouses but I looked over my posts from last year and saw that it was not until mid/late April of 2013 that I started getting sprouts in my greenhouses. That is also when my potato plants started to come up. I am so thankful to have this blog, if for no other reason than to keep myself in check 😉
I haven’t spoken much of harvests because, though that is the goal (hence the planting), I have yet to have any plant harvests this year. We are still harvesting eggs daily and are extremely thankful for those! Check out what everyone else is doing at Daphne’s Dandelions today 🙂