Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring storms on the homestead

Right now, about one or two days a week is all I have to get out and do my gardening. I try to make the most of those days because 5 or 6 days a week, we'll have storms and rain. Of course, I'm glad for the rain. It refills the aquifer that feeds my well. We had hail last night but it was small, thank goodness. No harm came to the solar panels. Some folks just a few miles away got hail so large that cars were dented and car windows broken out,.

So far on my mini homestead, I've planted strawberry plants, onion plants, cabbage plants, broccoli plants, and sugar snap peas. The cabbage and broccoli plants were given to me by the lady at the feed store up the road. She said her uncle had grown all the starts but our weather had been so crazy, including snow, that no one was buying them. So she gave me 2 kinds of broccoli and 2 kinds of cabbage plants -- 12 plants in all of each. I found places to plant them and got them in the ground as soon as I could.

I prepared a grow bed for 6 of the cabbages and all of the onion plants. I'm really hoping for good results on all of them.

Then I soaked the strawberry plants in water for a couple of days, since they were bare root plants. In the meantime, I prepared two permanent round beds to plant them in. Got them in the ground and after only 2 days you can tell the difference in them. Already putting on big, new leaves.

I prepared a narrow bed for the peas. I had made the bed last year for kakai pumpkins. It has a large piece of lattice tied to the side of the hoop house. The hoop house doesn't have plastic on it. I planted the peas and hope to train them up the lattice and further, over the hoops.

My aquaponics is inside the hoop house and I'll be planting strictly tomatoes and eggplant in the grow bed, when it's time. I got more tomatoes last year from the aquaponics setup than I did from those planted in soil. The only exception might be the Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, and that was in the soil and as always, produced like mad.

I got the weed whacker out yesterday and trimmed the foot paths in between the raised beds, got weeds trimmed down to dirt in the beds, and did a little more trimming here and there around the yard. Still more to be done. Due to circumstances last summer and fall, I couldn't get the beds cleaned out properly so I am having to do all that now, and they are in a great mess so I needed to take drastic measures to be able to continue planting.

Both chicken houses have been cleaned out now. We do the deep litter method, which means we keep piling bedding on the chicken house floors then once a year dig it all out and start over again. That litter becomes part of the compost that's used on the garden beds. We still need to clean out the goat house. It's supposed to continue raining and storming until next Sunday, and this is only Wednesday, so that chore will have to wait.

In the meantime, here's a happy pair of chickens for your viewing pleasure!

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