Wow, the winds are here today, woke up to a white slushy sort of freezing raining world.. Thankfully not a frozen world as we could finish filling the big 50 gallon water drum that I had hauled to the big barn for when the temps do come into the freezing over the next few days.
We did the regular farm prep work once the first storm passed this morning, chores and moving the vehicles out from under the tree’s to the safety of the end of our lane, so far nothing but smaller branches have come down but still always better to be safe then sorry on that one.
They are a warning of power outages and I have friend and the radio already reporting them, but so far here on my little farm, we still have power. Its been a laundry day, always a good thing to do when you are having a quiet day. Boy if things could stay on the line, think of how fast they would dry 🙂 but I am using the dryer as I am washing things that the hounds and purrpots sleep on and so I want the hair off in the dryer.
The weather has me pining for true spring which of course means plants and gardening, I have to admit that I have not been dreaming about the garden in the normal way for me. I think in part because I am just not sure how many of the gardens I am going to have working for me this year. We let a lot of the gardens just run wild last fall and hubby had said, its ok, we will get it all cleaned up in the spring.
Normally my man is my power horse on the farm and he loves to work in the gardens, he is the big double digger, the hauler and pen cleaner, I am more the turner, weeded, planner, water person and the inter-planter and of course the processor.
He is trying to tell me that he will have full rights back mid may from doctor but I think just because his broken bones are to be “just” healed mid may does not mean that he is going to be at his normal work load in may. Which means that I need to look at this longer term in planning.
I am starting this process with four things in mind
a) keep it as simple as possible, so that I can keep up on it as much as possible. Now what that means is that I might be doing things like doing a dig-flip line around some of my smaller gardens that are vertical. Normally we might do three feet or four around them, because they produce more, they are also a lot more work to do it that way as most of them need at least three season planting.. so I figure I will start with the planting row, and then do a dig-flip line that is easy to keep hoed and put a full season crop in the middle of the row and seed the rest with flowers. This bed is a great example.. two climbing crops per season, plus a full row of other crops in front of it, then heavily bedded down as the walk way
b) farm some of it out.. no reason for me to need to do all my starts this year, I have limited space and time. I decided to go with a local gentleman for my tomato’s and peppers. I will still be doing my own slips for sweets and regular potato’s.
I have room for eight trays on my shelves in the porch, so we will see what gets a head start, most of the garden this year will be planted directly in ground. the above photo was when I went to pick up some amazing started plants from Aster Lane.. She rocks! at finding the coolest plants to sell to garden folks.
c) I am going to be willing to fallow gardens as needed, I will do some direct weeding or wild plant harvesting in them as needed, otherwise, I am going to compost them deeply and put cover crops on them as needed and just let them fallow this year!
d) I am going to plant the bigger gardens into larger plots of canning produce then I normally do and then I am going to bed it down. Normally I like to create a lot of smaller plots and really mix things up.. but this year I am going to do some of the garden or gardens into bigger plots of the same type of plant, examples instead of doing a square loose raised bed with carrots in small rows, I am going to do two longer rows and bed down better them. It will change things up in the terms of how I can weed a bit this year and will work better with the plan to plant larger amounts of canning goods.
The next biggest will be to get everything I can out of my perennials.. Rhubarb and my fruiting bushes an canes are all going to get extra care this year as I need to focus on getting the best crop I can.
I am looking forward to my sunflowers this year, do you grow sundflowers and if so, for yourself mostly or for your critters?
Getting the raspberry cane babies moved into a new longer row for production this year is a must. I want to put up a lot more of them this year, both the early, mid-season and the late season ones hopefully will all produce this year.. I only got one crop of middle on the drought year and a short crop but really amazing flavour in the mid-season producers on the wet year and the birds didn’t let me get any of my late season.
What is your main goal this year in the gardens? What is the one thing you always plant?
Very few of my seeds have poked their heads above ground yet, even the flowering bulbs are taking their time. Interesting times, eh? 🙂
o yes, the weather is all over the place
We’re having a (second) catch-up year after the year where my mom was sidelined for a full 9 months with an injury. Plus we have some big re-shaping work to do at the front lawn, re-doing ditches, and some tree-scrub work that needs done, and we need to re-build some of the permanent raised beds (and sift through for giant nails that have rotted into the soil in some places over a couple of decades), and hack out and rebuild compost areas, so there’s both a big focus on finding space and minimal work required.
So there’s some tried-and-true stuff going in, and minimal new trials.
I’ve been tarping since midwinter here, which is helping a bit, and got a good bit of the overgrown pruning done. We’ll see how it goes.
I have several areas that I’m just going to cover crop with a smother crop after some bigtime weed pulls (they haven’t been worked in a couple of years, and we have creeping charlie and bermuda grass). I’m toying with trying a BOSS-buckwheat mix, to see if they badly out compete or smother each other. So I’ll have a couple of patches of “just” buckwheat, and a couple of sections with varying densities of sunflowers in there, and see what the effects are and how they do as cold-kill cover with the sunflowers. (It would be nice to find something that works with sunflowers besides wood sorrel and henbit, since even my Cherokee black bean is seriously stunted with both types; still somewhat productive, but nowhere near as robust in health, shape, or yield.)
I’m also going to move some planter and container soils out to make some mini mounds along areas of the dog fence that would normally be left alone for some stuff like peas, and maybe later replant those, and I have some mounds where stuff is moving where I can pile earth for a couple of the Jester acorn squash I love (not in the usual love I have for my space-hungry, needy giants; these I actually eat, too!). 🙂
Fingers crossed for speedy recoveries, and that J both doesn’t overdo and is at it faster than anticipated.
Thank you for such a great long comment and hope you will comment how things are going over the coming season. Best of luck on it all.. sounds like it will be a good amount of work for you and yours