Wednesday, May 17, 2017

quite a bit has happened in two weeks

My last post, two weeks ago showed a picture of our latest snowfall.  That snow only lasted the better part of the day and was gone by evening.  Since that we have had the couple of 85 degree days.  Quite a change.

The newest growing space that I have is a huge garden that was created several years ago.  To say that it is a challenge would be an understatement.  It was created in an area that was a lawn and for a short time fenced as a pasture.  Grass, weeds and alfalfa were dug under at the onset and it  has been coming back ever since.

It was tilled up in the fall and the second year was our first crop year.  The following year the deer found our garden and last year we put up a deer fence that ended up being woefully inadequate for the amount of wind that we have.  I spent much of my time trying to reinforce the plastic posts that came with the system with metal T posts.  By spring of this year the plastic posts and even some of the metal ones were bent or broken and the mesh, which held up really well and was still attached to said posts was in disarray.  In the meantime last years crop was a disaster.  The deer seemed to stay away after the fence was installed but it really didn't deter the rabbits.  The weeds came.  And came.  And came.

Fast forward to Spring 2017.  My bunch came on two weekends, some on the weekend prior and some on Mother's Day weekend to apply landscape fabric.  The landscape fabric was a mother's day and birthday gift.  It is part of a new plan to try to kill off the weeds and prevent their regrowth.  So far we are planning a three pronged approach.  We will use tarps and heavy plastic on the bare ground when no crops are present, landscape fabric when the crops are planted and then that will be picked up and cover crops planted for late fall.  The tarps will then be used to smother the cover crop and keep the beds covered over the winter.

The other thing that happened is that a plan was made to replace the flimsy plastic posts and their ineffective reinforcements with wood posts.  Last night 18 post holes were dug by Robb who borrowed his dad's post hole auger and I am hoping a trip to the lumber yard today will have me doing fence repair and then planting crops very soon.  In the pictures below the landscape fabric is in the foreground and black plastic and tarps to the rear.  When I built the permanent raised rows my spacing was inconsistent so in order to keep the fabric centered over my rows some of the gaps is taken up by a band of paper grocery sacks so that the garden is completely covered in those spots.  Of course we are not nearly done but I am hoping to get the fence repaired, plant the fabric covered areas and keep advancing across the garden.  I may have a temporarily smaller garden while I work my way across but I am okay with that. 
1st weekend progress.  Thanks Nikole and Brad
2nd weekend progress.  Thanks Nathan, Michelle and Caitlin

Robb digging post holes.  Thanks Robb.
While the Mother's Day bunch was here we were able to get the farmstand to the end of the driveway and put out some surplus plants for sale.  Caitlin and Michelle  made some signs to place on the edge of the highway that passes by the farmstand and pictures were posted by Nikole to facebook and a Craig's list notice was placed by Nathan to let people know who don't happen to be driving past.  So far we have had a few sales.

I have a second garden space which is a small group of raised beds surrounded by a fence that I refer to as the potager.  Some of those beds have been weeded and planted.  I have more to do but it is good to get something in the ground. 

The weather has been dry so it has allowed the top of the soil to dry out but we got some rain and more is predicted.  That should buy me some time to allow me a chance to get the irrigation hoses set up for watering in the big garden before there is a need to water.  Lots to do.  And I think it is time to mow again. 

The ornamental flowering tree that was a gift from Nikole a few years back hoping that it would be blooming on Mother's day did not disappoint.
The lilac and lily of the valley are perfuming the yard so it is a joy to work outside. 

Thanks for visiting.

5 comments:

  1. A farm is a lot of work! I give you a ton of credit. I can barely tend to the few flowering pots I have in my backyard, and truth be told, they do better when I just stay away. 😉I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day and a Happy Birthday if it already passed. And if you get anymore of those 85 degree days, feel free to pass them on my way. I am getting tired of wearing a coat.

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    1. Oh no, not a coat. Rumor has it in the forties again later this week. My birthday has not yet happened, end of the month. Before mine is my sister's and my daughter's. We often do a group thing. I don't manage pots well either. I have been making the move to larger and larger pots so they are less sensitive to my erratic watering schedule. Only herbs, no flowers. I look forward to seeing pictures of your backyard on your blog.

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  2. Your ornamental tree is lovely !! You are a very busy woman with all of your gardens and farm stand, after reading above blog, you need at least 4 more hours in your day to get everything done that you want and need to do.

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    1. Thanks Bobbie, if you can find a way to arrange for those extra four hours I would be interested in them...Perhaps this is the year that I 'work smarter, not harder'. It was fun reading about your rain barrel. I forgot to ask if the red pump is functional or decorative. It sure is cute.

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