Monday, September 5, 2011

Upcoming Projects and Fall Planting

My apologies for not posting more often lately, but the hot and humid weather has kept me indoors and from having too much to say.  It's so hard to motivate oneself to go outside when it's 100 degrees and 60% humidity.  I am impatiently waiting for the weather to break, but the heat wave seems to continue with no significant rainfall to call our own.  Regardless, I have projects to tackle and fall plants to get in the ground.  This weekend I planted some collard greens, swiss chard, broccoli, brussels sprouts and garlic. I have some lettuce starts in the greenhouse and I hope to get some more started for succession planting.  Everything was planted in the front yard to protect it from the chickens, but hopefully soon I won't have to worry about the birds getting into my back yard plantings anymore.  And, as I was cleaning up one of the beds yesterday, I found this cutie giving me the eye.  This is a good sign, for sure!

I have two projects in the hopper, and we bought the materials for both this weekend, so hopefully they will be completed soon.  The first one involves the chickens and rabbits.  This is what we call the bottom half of our backyard.  A retaining wall runs across the yard, separating it into an upper and lower portion. 

Aside from a few hours of morning sun, it is pretty much shaded the rest of the day by huge overhanging oak trees.  You can see the rabbit shed to the left.  The rabbit shed did not work out like I had hoped, and we realistically can only fit four cages in it, and that's if I stack them.  So what we've decided to do is fence off this section of yard and confine the chickens to this level.  They will have plenty of space to wander, and it will hopefully keep them out of my vegetables up top.  Plus with the tree coverage, they will be more proected from hawks.  We are going to turn the rabbit shed into the chicken coop and the current chicken coop into the rabbit shed.  The current chicken coop will house probably six rabbit cages stacked, so it gives me slightly more flexibility with the rabbits, and it has an attached run that I hope to plant with grass to give the rabbits a space to get some exercise and fresh greens.  This project requires a good rainfall to soften the ground, because it is rock hard right now, but at least we have the supplies on hand and can tackle it when the time comes.   

The next project is a hindsight is 20/20 project.  In the spring we built these terraced beds off our deck for asparagus and strawberries.  By the way, the asparagus is looking awesome, so it must really like this spot.

We also transplanted some raspberry canes to the left of these beds, but I didn't think about how much lower the raspberries are to the terraced bed and how they would be blocked of sunlight by the asparagus ferns.  We need to bring them up to an even level with the asparagus bed, and the soil is so poor by the deck, a good raised bed is really needed anyway.  Building a rasied bed for the raspberries to the left of the asparagus ferns is our second pending project. 

I'll keep you posted on the progress and thanks for the kind words regarding Louise.   

Happy homesteading,



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