Thursday, March 8, 2012

Editing the Garden-

Making way for new growth.

We are still  FINALLY getting sweet peas that we planted way back in October. 
We had a fairly mild winter-- and a few times our temps dropped down into freezing temps. We kept these Sweet Peas covered with hoop frames-- that meant no pollination -- I tried to uncover when I could...but it just meant a late crop for us. 
Now-- we're just trying to keep the chickens out of the peas. 
More on that later. 

I cleaned out the area that kept us stocked on carrots and radishes over the winter months. I've planted RED ONIONS there. 

This photo has a lot going on in it. 

  • Lower right corner... Potato Box. We had pretty good success in that box last year. I hope to have even better success this year. 
  • Above that box is another area it has onions and potatoes. Honestly-- I don't know if you can plant those together or not. We'll see. The only reason I planted them that way was we bought too many Onion sets for us.  
  • Then of course-- there is the Huglebeet. Last year I was so proud when I read about this technique for planting-- This year- I'm afraid it has become an OVER GROWN ANT HILL. I suppose the earth inside that mound stays warm enough to keep the ants comfortable. 

Yesterday, while working out there-- I removed some of the larger sticks from that pile allowing it to fall in on itself a little. There is still plenty of decaying wood inside there -- to hopefully warm it up a bit. I sprinkled  DE all over the mound and hopefully that will take care of the ant problem. 

  • If I can get rid of the ants in enough time well, then I hope to plant squash, cucumbers and cantaloupe in that all those did really well last year. We also had some tomatoes on the edges of that pile that produced quite a yield of Tomatoes for us. 
  • The pathway is covered with 'cigar beans' from the Catalpa trees. This seems to be a good material to help keep the weeds down. I am still raking and adding these as I work around the yard.  **edited to say, the cigar bean pods are dry and there are no seeds in them. It is just the outer shell. 

I've also got some beds that have been cleared and prepped for vegetables. I did have shrubs last year until the drought and grasshoppers-- since all that is cleaned out...I'm hoping some greens; Spinach and Lettuce will go there nicely maybe even some Beets. 

Lastly-- we've been letting the chickens out everyday. This has been great. I like to see them wandering around and getting familiar with their surroundings. It is wonderful to see them head into the Run and Coop once the sun starts to set and the shadows begin to fall across the yard. They know where they sleep! So wonderful.  I'm toying around with fencing ideas to keep them out of the beds. We'll see what works!  Having them roaming will take care of that pesky GRASSHOPPER problem we had last year. 

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Clint Baker said...

Still things look like they are coming along! I bet if you put the chickens on the Hugelkulture bed, the ants will be gone in know time!

Coleen's Corner said...

I can almost smell Spring reading this post! We've had a mild winter in Iowa, but it is still far too early for gardens. We are all anxious to be outside in the fresh, warm air. Until then, I'll enjoy your reports :)

Kristina said...

Pat, the garden is looking great.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Your garden is looking great!! How funny that we're both blogging about gardens - it must be that time of year!!

I'd love to have chickens to let out!! So much fun!


Shelley said...

Your garden is looking wonderful! I've never heard of hugel beds before, will have to research them after work ;) Always learning something new from you!

The Boston Lady said...

Your gardens look great Pat. I demand pictures of the chickens running loose. I think it is fascinating that they head back "home" at sunset. Ann

nannykim said...

So the stuff you kill the ants with--is that a poison and if so any problems with growing food there?

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

Diatomaceous earth--

It is food grade. Doesn't harm me and my family or my little chickens. Shouldn't affect the food either. I gave the link...because I don't know the technical jargon. But basically, it is a very fine powder that comes from fossilized algae and it dries out the insect (dehydrating them) and killing them...eliminating the problem!
Completely Organic...

I love that you always ask the best questions. There by --making me more accountable to my reader-ship... Thanks Kim!

Jami @ An Oregon Cottage said...

Wow- you were able to keep stocked of carrots and radishes all winter? That's fantastic! I really should grow some more. :-) Thanks for sharing- I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog!