Tag Archives: strawberry patch

Garden in January, Eastern NC, Zone 7b

January 6, 2016

Here is what the garden looked like at the beginning of December.DSC_1018-EditAnd after a very warm and wet December, here is what it looks like at the beginning of January.

Nieto Photography 2015

The grass is greener, what with the warm, wet weather. But the blueberry bushes have lost most of their leaves.

My husband had some extra time this weekend and decided to help me cover the strawberry beds, rip up some tarp, and haul a LARGE amount of mulch!

Nieto Photography 2015Strawberry beds before…

Nieto Photography 2015And after (covered with poop and mulch).Nieto Photography 2015I scraped all of the poop off of the roosting table, spread it over the strawberry beds and over some bare ground after he ripped up some tarp. Then, I spread all of the mulch he hauled. The kids’ job was to weed where we were spreading mulch.

Nieto Photography 2015Nieto Photography 2015(that patch of green is a small patch of overwintering spinach)`

We got SOOO much done, it seems, but in reality, we only weeded, put down manure, and covered about 1/10th of the garden with mulch. Ah well, there’s only so much we can do at a time. All of that pitching, hauling, and raking of the mulch does a number on your back, arms, and hands!

We have picked the spot for our new raspberry plants so the next time my husband has a free day, we will weed, rip up tarp and cover that area with manure and mulch as well.

The garden looks a bit different now than in the first picture. The temperatures really dropped yesterday and we had our first snow! Just flurries. Not much stuck. Anyway, before the snow, we covered everything with the lightweight garden fabric. Part of me thinks we should have gone with the heavier garden fabric but it is only going to be in the low 20s for two nights then it will jump back into lows in the 40s and 50s. I am hoping everything will be okay and I will put the heavier fabric on when the low temps are here to stay.

Here is an overview of what the garden looks like in early January:Nieto Photography 2015Brassica transplants to be…? idk. transplanted later? eaten off of? We’ll see. Nieto Photography 2015Purple headed cabbage. Hopefully we will get an early spring harvest from these. Nieto Photography 2015celery Nieto Photography 2015cilantro Nieto Photography 2015Carrots & spinach Nieto Photography 2015Brassicas (broccoli, sprouting broccoli, and cabbage)

I love seeing the changes from month to month. I wonder what it will look like at the beginning of February?

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Harvest Monday

November 24, 2014

Whew! This week was no joke! Last week, most days were in the 60s or 70s. This week, we made it out of the 40s only one day. A shock to the system, for sure!

Even so, we were able to harvest kaleDSC_5915 and carrots this week (little but still sweet).DSC_6137

After I harvested some carrots, my kids wanted to harvest theirsย  as well. They were so proud.DSC_6215

We are harvesting about 5 eggs/day. The chickens are finished moulting and they are so beautiful and fluffy!DSC_6216 DSC_6220 DSC_6222The few days I did brave the outdoors, I covered the strawberry beds for the winter. Paul says to cover them just enough for the leaves to lay down.DSC_6134(halfway done) DSC_6136 In the spring, the old, weak plants will die and decompose while the young, strong plants will push through the mulch. This way

  • you always have healthy strawberry plants
  • no need to thin the strawberry plants
  • and no need to replace them or transplant them (unless you want to, to expand, like I do).

This is the theory I am testing out. He does this every year. I guess I’ll find out in the spring ๐Ÿ™‚

This week, I need to cover the brassicas with more cloth or plastic. All of the nights in the 20s this week has really had its toll on them. The broccoli plants may be lost.

Check out what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions today.

Homestead Review

June 28, 2013

It’s amazing to see what a difference a month can make!

The raspberries we planted from root stock back in March are starting to give us little raspberries already! Our BTE garden is giving us lettuce, carrots, and green beans (snaps) daily and hopefully we’ll be adding many more veggies to that list (like peppers for the first time!). And in just a month, our corn has gone from sprouting to growing silks ๐Ÿ™‚

Desktop2Here is our bell pepper:

pepperThere have been changes regarding the chunnel as well. We have covered it with smaller fencing and my husband is working towards making the chunnel movable. He is about halfway done. The chickens enjoy it all day save the heat of the day when they would rather be in their run (tucked in the shaded woods) and we are enjoying saving on chicken feed!

Desktop1(L(then) and R (now): chunnel, now movable, now fenced tunnel (with 11mo), chickens a month ago & today)

chunnel(view from upstairs window: coop on R, garden on L)

The blueberries have changed a lot in a month as well! We are harvesting a large bowlful (think LARGE mixing bowl) every other day now!

Katy Blog3(blueberries 1 month ago)

blue(grapes blueberries today)

Our goal is to be able to feed ourselves almost exclusively from our garden (not buy any veggies and only a few fruit from the grocery store) in the coming years. It is already exciting to not have to buy lettuce, kale, carrots, or potatoes from the store. These were regular purchases. It has affected our budget in a positive way, for sure!

Even with such a lofty goal, however, we did not want to do too much all at once for fear of being unable to keep up with it all. So, this year, we added the raspberries and the potato patch.

Next year, I would like to grow strawberries and sweet potatoes. We needed to clean out the coop (hasn’t been cleaned out since April) anyway, so I decided to go ahead and prep the areas so the coop bedding could go to work already ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to put the sweet potato patch somewhere that is high and dry in the garden and that gets full sun. I raked back the mulch, ripped up the tarps and weed cloth, put down bedding from the chicken coop, and then covered it back up with mulch. By next spring, the soil should be wonderful to plant in. Unless the chickens didn’t take care of all of the weed seed and in that case, this patch will be full of weeds…only time will tell!

sweet potato patch(all of the dark area is the sweet potato patch but I know as it dries, it will be hard to tell where it actually is so I decided to put some type of marker for the time being)

tarps(here are all of the tarps I ripped up for the sweet potato patch only. amazing what must be done to keep the weeds away!)

I found a slightly sloped area of the garden for the strawberry patch. Eventually, I would like a larger area but I like to start small so as to not get overwhelmed with the task at hand. I also was running out of coop bedding so…again, ripped back tarps, etc., covered with remaining bedding and poop, raked mulch back on, and hopefully it will be a great spot for strawberries come spring!

straw(again, the darker mulch is the strawberry patch)

No wonder I am having such trouble keeping up with homeschooling these days (we homeschool year-round)! Any year round homeschoolers who garden (specific enough?) have good tips for me regarding summer scheduling? We’ve been doing school in the afternoon (typically we start school at 8am) but my children are not fans. Anyone eating exclusively from your garden? I wonder how many years it will take for us to do so…

I am linking up to Simple Lives Thursday.