Saturday, 30 April 2011

First Planting April 29th, 2011

Well, I've gone and done it now.  I couldn't help myself.  I tried to wait but I just couldn't :)  My hotbed at the south side of the garage was begging me to plant.  The soil is warm deep down and earthworms abound.  It's sheltered, protected and the soil is amended and turned so I threw caution to the wind and planted a little sampling of cooler weather crops.  I put in 2 types of beets (golden and ruby), some lettuce, swiss chard, peas and kale.  Just a bit of each, with hopes of harvesting some of these at the end of May to early June when my tomatoes (currently indoors) will go into this space.  If I lose what I've just planted (I'm expecting to lose at least half of it), it's not a big deal as it took me all of 10 minutes to plant.  Because I used old seed (that I didn't really take good care of due to being busy with the renovation), I sewed the seeds rather thickly in hopes of maybe half of the seeds actually germinating.  If they all do, great - I'll simply thin the rows.  Remind me of my foolishness will you, in 2 weeks when we have a late frost/snowfall?  *sigh*

We have grand plans for a 3 sided greenhouse here up against this exterior wall. I've got some windows and lumber for it - we just need some time to do it when the other pressing things are taken care of.  The goal is to have it up and functioning for next Spring's planting season.  We'll see how things actually unfold ~ I hold my plans ever loosely :)

The main garden has changed overnight.  In forking over some soil again, I discovered earthworms in nearly every turning!   Wow, what a difference a day makes!  We had rain most of the day yesterday and I'm wondering if that had something to do with it.  That, and the warm sun today made for some very toasty soil out there.  The chickens went positively WILD for the worms, gobbling them up faster than I could move to turn over another section of soil.  We are lucky that our garden area is quite sheltered, there's a tree belt on 2 sides and the garage on the third side, creating a nice microclimate that hold warmth and keeps the worst of the wind out.

The picture below shows the view from our garage roof.  All of what you see was built/created in early Spring of 2010.  The coop is in the corner, with 2 runs (one to the side and one out front).  We like to have 2 separate areas to put the chickens for rotational purposes plus breed separating should the need arise.  The main garden is L shaped, and is heading for an expansion this year!  This picture only shows about half of it's size.  We use chicken wire on rebar posts to keep the hens out of the garden area at certain times (seeding, etc).  The picture of the painted coop (named the Henitentiary) is later in the Spring of 2010.  Much greener and all dolled up!

This picture below is what keeps me getting up each day.   You can see that all of my pictures on the blog to date are very brown and drab (that's the way it is here in early Spring), but look out!  This picture below is late Spring/early Summer.  My veggie garden grew well and fast in our rich soil  I can hardly WAIT to get the main garden planted!

Back to reality....  Things aren't looking so great with the fruit trees right now.  Due to all the snow we had, a good many of them are waterlogged.  I have no idea what to do about it - they surely won't survive if things don't dry up out there very soon.  Maybe I should use a bucket and scoop as much water out as I can.  Not even sure if that would do much as obviously, the soil below the surface is saturated.

Kelly ended up accepting some overtime this weekend, so he won't be home in the daytime until NEXT Friday.  This puts our siding and tilling (if we till) on hold until next weekend.  Probably for the best as it's still rather wet in spots out there.  I'm going to tackle some housework and perhaps some sewing this weekend, as well as get the berry beds cleaned up and prepped for the season of growing!  My indoor seedlings need some attention.  A good many of the plants need to be transplanted and fertilized so I've got lots to keep me busy while Kelly is at work all weekend.

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