Tag Archives: weeds

The End-of-May Lull

May 19, 2015

After going 100 miles an hour for the last month, it is strange to not really have anything to do around here. This is a good time to take a vacation! 🙂 Too bad this is also a great time to have a wedding (hubby is a wedding photographer) 😉

I am still planting lettuce, carrots, kale, squash (summer and winter), melons (watermelons and cantaloupe), and cucumbers every two weeks…I will start planting sweet potato slips at the end of May…but right now, I am having a hard time finding things to do.

Gardening with a cover (the BTE way) means there is very little weeding. However, since I used some fresh horse manure to cover our garden this winter (our chickens don’t poop enough 😉 ), those areas are getting my attention these days. (before weeding)Nieto Photography 2015After weedingNieto Photography 2015The garden beds/sections covered in chicken poop rarely need to be weeded at all!DSC_8360(no weeds in the carrot/beet/lettuce bed that was covered in chicken manure & woodchips this past fall)

We noticed some bermuda grass growing through our newly mulched area so I dug it out, put down some more newspaper, and recovered with mulch.

Nieto Photography 2015

You really have to stay on top of bermuda grass with whatever garden you have but with the BTE garden, if you dig out & re-cover with newspaper & mulch diligently, after a year or so, you will be rid of it 🙂 You just have to make sure to pull all of the seedlings in the spring that blow in from the field 😛

Are you enjoying the lull? We are enjoying all of our greens and strawberries (of course) as we eagerly anticipate our upcoming harvests of peas, potatoes, carrots, and beets!DSC_8361(starting to see potato plants flowering) DSC_8405(purple peas are starting to flower) DSC_8362(my daughter’s peas are setting pods – she planted in full sun whereas mine were grown in partial shade (we have seen a big difference – note for the future!) )


Harvest Monday – Looking Ahead

April 14, 2014

Nothing was planted this week. I mainly weeded (stinking wild onions), spread more newspaper and mulch, and watched seedlings come up.

Nieto Family - April 10 13 - 0134(before…) Nieto Family - April 13 13 - 0303-Edit(after)

It may be difficult to see but the light-colored mulch on the left is the section I did about a month ago. Moving to the right, around the Magnolia tree, is a section we did earlier in the week. The darkest section is the last bit we covered in mulch at the end of last week. As the weather warms and the grass grows, I feel more and more pressure/motivation to cover everything with mulch, seeing how we do not have a lawn mower that works…


A warm weather crop sprouted in my greenhouse — a tomato!…or a pepper…we had more snow than normal this winter so, even though I wrote what was in each greenhouse in permanent ink, it has all faded. Of course, this week we are going to have one night that will hit 32 degrees so that greenhouse will have to be covered.

I’ll have to wait and see as it gets bigger whether it is a tomato or a pepper. As far as varieties, I guess I’ll have to wait until harvest for those. I planted eight varieties of tomatoes, two of cantaloupe, three of winter squash… There is nothing I can do about it now.

I made a note in my gardening notebook about making markers to put on the inside of the greenhouses to see if that makes a difference next year.

Though no plant harvests, seedlings are giving me some hope: peas, kale, carrots, lettuce, spinach

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0137(Peas on left were the ‘old’ seed, sewn too heavily. Peas on right are peas I ordered, planted two weeks later, and spaced out much better!)

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0194Kale planted a month ago is doing well (I apologize for the blurriness).

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0103(I found this lettuce had overwintered on its own! 🙂 )

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0162 Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0167 Chicks are getting their wing feathers 🙂 So cute! Actually, not as cute but still neat!

Nieto Family - April 08 13 - 0007 Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0066Still getting about 16 eggs a day from our 18 layers. Not too shabby!


Strawberries are looking healthy. I’m pinching off one or two flowers/day.

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0197Of the MANY raspberry plants ordered last year, only a couple came up. They did well at the beginning of last summer but it was such a wet summer, many of them molded and did not return.

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0209We cut a line out of tarp because we heard they spread so much – we were trying to control where they spread. Some of the raspberries did not get the memo…

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0218(These grew through some apparent holes in the mulch)

Lastly, our blueberry bushes are beginning to bloom and the bees are loving it!

Nieto Family - April 11 13 - 0159Whew! That ended up being a longer update than intended. Sorry about that!

Check out what others are harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions.

The Weather Is Warmer So Things Are Getting DONE!

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!

Nieto Family - March 27 14 - 0068 1547951_717975918253260_1950278981_o


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. IMG_8459(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.

Nieto Family - March 27 14 - 0015 Nieto Family - March 27 14 - 0008


(25 of the plants — look at those beautiful roots!)

Nieto Family - March 27 14 - 0011 (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.)Nieto Family - March 27 14 - 0399

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 🙂

Harvest Monday

June 3, 2013

I finally had a week in which I did not plant anything! That has not happened in a while. This does not mean the garden was untouched, however. I was able to harvest kale & lettuce…

kale2lettuce2(images from last week but same produce 😉 )

our first peas (only 4 germinated…these seeds are over 5 years old so I was just seeing what would come up)…

peapea2(nice & plump)pea3(everyone got one pea 🙂 )

and our first potato!

potatoI am definitely new to growing and harvesting potatoes. I have tried digging down to get new potatoes twice now and I have not found any. However, yesterday, I was pulling weeds in between potato plants and I accidentally pulled this potato up! I think whenever we’re ready to harvest potatoes, we’re just going to have to uncover everything. I’m still not sure when to harvest them…they’ve been in the ground since March, came above the mulch in April…anyone? please enlighten me! 🙂

One last garden activity that happened (other than me getting eaten ALIVE while working in the garden past 6pm) was covering more area with cardboard and mulch. Our church meets at an elementary school so Sunday, my husband loaded our car with as much cardboard as it could hold. I realize cardboard is not the best because it doesn’t lie flat (leaving room for the bermuda grass to come up) but it is thicker than newspaper so it has been our go-to medium to put down before mulch so far.

mulchmulch2(excuse the blurriness – phone pic)

I am linking to Daphne’s Dandelions for Harvest Monday. Go see what everyone else is harvesting across the country!