April 23, 2015
Chicks Are In!
The chicks were able to sleep in their new coop Wednesday night. My husband still needs to give them a roost and I still need to paint it but they’re in!(This is not the final product (before we put the door on or did any detail work). It is very make-shift but it gets the job done 🙂 ) (For size comparison)
Besides building the coop, I was able to plant some warm-weather seeds and transplants.
I have planted a three-sister’s garden for the last 3 years. I plant it more for a space saver than to improve the soil. Chicken manure and woodchips take care of that 🙂 I read that letting beans climb corn helps keep the racoons away and steadies the corn so it is less likely to fall. I think the racoon deterrent works; however, every year, we have had a big storm right before harvest time. About half of the corn falls and then nothing deters the racoons because the plump corn is on the ground!
SO, the latest thing I read was to plant the corn with sunflowers to keep them from blowing over. With the big storms, only a few of our sunflower plants fell so I thought that was a good idea. I planted corn and beans (two of the three-sister garden) in one row and sunflowers and cucumbers in another row. I alternated rows, planting 4 of each. AFTER finishing, I thought, ‘uh, oh’ – the corn rows are 30″ away from the next corn row. Will they not pollinate each other? Ugh. It’s already done.(You may be able to see the rows in this picture? The darker ones I planted yesterday but seeds are actually planted all the way to the tree – they were planted the day before)
I planted another patch of corn in a different section of the garden and made a sunflower border around it so the corn will have a better chance of pollinating but will still have the support of the sunflowers. It will be an interesting experiment.
I also buried my sweet potatoes this week. I covered some pots with plastic a couple of weeks ago to heat up the soil. This week, I put sweet potatoes in with soil around the sides. These were sweet potatoes that I harvested last fall. They have made it all winter and we are still eating them. What’s more, they are SUPER sweet (get sweeter with time)! I digress. After putting the sweet potatoes in the pots, I covered them with mulch and then covered the pots back with plastic. I’ll uncover the pots in a few weeks, or whenever I see slips growing. This is what I did last year and our slips AND sweet potatoes did really well!(Already had a few sprouts in storage) Speaking of sweet potatoes, as I was planting corn and sunflowers this week, my daughter spotted 2 of the 3 sweet potato slips that had died (or so I thought) from the frost Easter morning. They live! We were excited…until I realized not only did those live, I am growing my own slips, AND I’ve ordered 24 more slips…aaaaaand no room! I had a little internal freak out as I looked at how little room there is for sweet potatoes this year. Once I finish planting everything that needs to be planted this week, I am going to rip up a bunch of tarp to try to make more room.
I planted snap beans (purple and green), tomato, pepper, and ground cherry seeds early this week. The greenhouses were looking pretty good so I planted most of those out as well. I still have quite a bit more to plant…and tarp to rip up…and I’m still having to deal with the covers for our low tunnels. The wind has been crazy lately. I anchored the insect barrier down and that helped but The covers are still blowing off completely when we get a big gust. Suggestions?
I am thankful we are dealing with this now because I am planning on using low tunnels and covers a lot this winter (when the wind is just as strong) and I would rather figure it out now than have to deal with it in the winter when it is much colder and crops being uncovered would ruin the them completely.
Questions for you:
- Thoughts on the corn spacing?
- Suggestions on how to deal with wind and covering crops?
- Can I plant my sweet potato slips in the same bed where I just harvested garden potatoes (not the same family but still not sure if it is wise)?
- And finally, wanna come expand the garden for me so we will have room to plant all of my sweet potatoes?