One tiny step at a time, the prep and early planting is getting done. It warmed to above 60 after lunch with sunshine until about 3 p.m. Jim hopped on the BBH and took off on a ride, and it seemed a good day to get some more gardening done. Yesterday never warmed and the sun disappeared early never to show again, so the garden sat idle. The baby trees had to get in the ground. They had to soak in a bucket of warm water for 2 to 5 hours before planting, so they were set in the bucket late this morning.
The little garden cart full of necessary tools was wheeled out, the nursery bed raked smooth and any rocks and weed clumps that were scooped up by the tractor bucket were removed and the 10 little twigs were put in good composted soil, marked with dowels with the tree type on them, watered in, and mulched down with spoiled hay. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow morning, so they will get a good soaking.
The box at the top of the garden near the asparagus bed was planted with 130 yellow onion sets and the row cover dome placed over it and clipped in place with granddaughter’s help, then the lower 4 X 4′ box was planted with 5 rows of peas and also covered with row cover.
More mulching between beds was done, but the weeds really haven’t started due to all the soil movement and box building and other jobs needed to be done today. Four boxes are now planted, one with asparagus, garlic, onions, and peas. Soon radishes and turnips can go in the ground too.
The white grape was moved against the garden fence where it will be trellised. Some leveling of the area above the garden was done in preparation of planting one of the two plum trees, but more needs to be done.
Deconstruction was accomplished on the chick pen that had shredded plastic stapled to the sides of the coop and a 2′ high wobbly row of garden fencing not even on real fence posts with a layer of plastic bird net to keep the chicks inside. Not secure, not high enough, and a major hassle to mow around. The fencing was all removed and rolled to use as tree rings when the nursery trees get replanted in a year or two, the bird net and shredded plastic put in a big garbage bag to be recycled. Mowing the thick weedy mess that had grown up between the fence and net could not be done as there was no gasoline for the mower.
The fence line needs to be mowed short. One fence post was set, but three more need to be relocated and set. Once that is accomplished, the rabbit fence with tiny holes at the bottom and larger ones near the top will keep the little ones safe inside the enclosure. The new fence is taller than the garden row that was there and some sort of protective cover will be erected to keep them safe from flying predators. The coop is about a foot off the ground, so they can run underneath when threatened too. A few feet outside of the old enclosure is one of our peach trees. It would be nice if the enclosure was larger, but the big chickens killed a good sized peach tree in their run in only two years with their scratching and pecking. Perhaps the tree can be heavily mulched to keep down the weeds and a ring of the fencing around it to keep them from the roots and trunk. That would put a little shade in their pen and give them a larger enclosure to grow in until they are large enough to not get through the fence holes and their pen opened up to the cull pen.
While the work was being done, granddaughter donned her bike helmet and walked her bike up the hill near the garden and rode down and around the back of the house over and over.
If the rain stops in the morning, perhaps the leveling of the area above the garden will continue, the plum trees planted, and if the gasoline is purchased, then the weeds can be mowed in the fence line in preparation for setting the new fence for the baby birds when they are ready to go outside in another 4 or 5 weeks. The sides of the coop still need to be enclosed and the nesting boxes mounted inside.
The bluebird box also still needs to be mounted on it’s post, maybe in a different part of the garden from the existing one.