Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Homestead Update: March 31

Hello Fellow Homesteaders!

We have been very busy this month! The green house is starting to fill up with seedlings!

The broccoli is popping up. I got these started kind of late, so I hope they do well.

Tomatoes are starting strong.

I finally had some peppers sprout! I feel like these take forever!

I moved the ollas and placed bricks over them to keep less moisture from evaporating and to hopefully protect them from the elements like hail. I need a lot more pots to make enough ollas for this bed, but that will have to wait until next year. I don't have the time to wait and needed to get this bed planted. Little Buddy and I planted Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Collards, and Kale today. For some reason when I tried to start these in pots, they wouldn't sprout. I thought my seeds were too old so I put them in some moist paper towels and they went crazy! So, I planted the sprouted seeds to see if they will make it. I've never done that before so it will be interesting to see if that works. We used some of my rusty canning rings to mark where the plants are. This will be a big help when it comes to weeding, especially since I am already seeing some pop up. Also, this is where the majority of my cinder blocks went. I still need to fill those in with soil. I will plant Nasturtiums, Marigolds, and Hyssop in them to help with pest control. Also, I am starting Thyme seeds so I can plant them through out the bed.

We also planted the root veggie bed today. I don't anticipate they will do very well since I didn't really do anything to work the ground here. Plus it won't be until next year that we can fill this in with soil. But, I like using root veggies to break ground, so to speak. Even if they don't grow well, they will help break up the soil and start adding nutrients. Little buddy and I planted beets, carrots, parsnips, spinach, kohlrabi, and lettuce here. All the time I spent making seed tape was well worth it! This went incredibly fast! Little Buddy also dotted some radishes in there somewhere. All the seedlings are marked except for them, so that ought to be interesting! I found birds and cats digging around in this bed, so I decided to cover them with screens to prevent them from digging up and/or eating the seeds. Especially since they are so close to the surface. When we got new windows several years ago, I got some laughs when I wanted to keep these, but they have been useful for all kinds of things! Plus, since they are the old-school screens, they are real metal instead of that fabric-type stuff they have now.

Random picture of an onion. I'm not sure where it came from...maybe the compost pile...but while we were setting up the root veggie bed last week, I found this little guy. I kind of just threw him in here and went back to work. I was surprised to see he seems to have revived a bit! Now I guess I should move him to a bigger spot.

I'm still waiting on my winter potatoes to make an appearance. They may not make it. I planted Yukon Gold here last fall from a tip I read. But they used Russets I think, so this kind may not make it. You never know if you don't try, right?

Little Buddy is giving our garlic bed a drink. These are doing so well! It's a joy to be able to watch something grow so soon! They've had their tops poking out since before Christmas and I'm amazed they have survived the winter. I covered them with chopped leaves after planting and covering in compost, then I added more leaves to the top over the winter. I can't wait to see how they turn out! I really didn't think they'd do this well and planted them too close together expecting several to die out.

This is a walkway I put chamomile seeds in. So far all I have sprouting are dandelions and plantain. No problem! Both very useful plants and I'll let them grow!

If you look close, you can see my potatoes breaking ground! Potato plants are fun to watch grow! In the cupboard, you see these frail, white, snaky sprouts, but once they are put in the ground, you see dark green, full, lush leaves pop through the soil! I have a feeling we'll have our best potato crop yet!

I have been working hard on the chicken pen panels. Here is one framed in and a first coat of paint. I hope this all works out how I planned it in my head. So far, I have spent $47 on this project. I need 5 more boards, and a couple hinges and latches. I think that's it. I have everything else. We'll see if I can keep Mr. Fox out with this!

I took down my old compost piles, painted the outsides of the pallets, and made a nicer looking pile. I hope the neighbors like this one better! No one has ever complained, but I know our backyard isn't very aesthetically pleasing.

I'm excited to get into April! I have a whole lot more seeds to get started and lots of planting to do! Plus I hope to have the chicken pen up and running by the end of the month as well as a new home for a few new baby chicks! Ah, Spring, how wonderful you are!

What have you been up to as the weather warms up?
Happy Gardening!

Jen Hen

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