Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Forward

Daylight Savings time has arrived. I have mixed feelings about it, really. I don't like losing an hour's sleep on Saturday, but I do like the extra daylight in the evening. I know it will only take a few days to adjust to the difference, and I will enjoy the evening light for a lot longer than that. I guess it's OK.

We've had nice weather again. Saturday was a bit chilly, but it was really nice Sunday. We got the new two section compost tumbler assembled, and I got a batch "cooking." I think this should work better than the big bin we had been using. For one thing, the batches will be smaller, so they should be ready sooner. And the tumbler feature means it will get mixed well. With the big bin, it was hard to get a pitchfork in there once the pile got deep.

I have the first of the Spring greens planted. They are under hoops covered with cheap plastic now, but I have better covers on order for them, plus frost blankets for the still chilly nights. That should let me grow some things later in the fall, as well. The whole garden plan is done. I've been using a site called Smart Gardener. I like it with just a few reservations. It is really designed for starting a garden from scratch, so it doesn't work quite as well with an already established plan and rotation scheme. But I have been able to adapt it pretty well, and the woman who designed it was very interested in hearing my thoughts about what I found less than helpful. Anyway, you set up your garden area, pick the plants you want to grow, and it will make a plan for you. In successive years, it will rotate the plants the way they should be done. If the plant you want to grow isn't in the current database, you can add it. I've done that for a few things, but much of the time, I can find something close enough to the variety I have and I just use that. It figures out what you have to do when, and gives you a to-do list every week. And keeps a log of the tasks as you complete them. This is the second year I've used it and it does help.

We also got the plan figured out for the drip irrigation system we want to install out there this year. That will be a big help. I found last year that the sprinkler wasn't getting enough water to the root zones once the bigger plants like tomatoes grew up. Then the leaves stayed wet too long, no matter when I watered and were susceptible to disease. Hope to not have that problem this season. The drip lines should be going in in the next month or so. That way, they will be in on the in-ground plots before I need to lay the new landscape fabric and plant the majority of things.

After all that, I want to get the area where the old garden used to be cleaned up. It's all overgrown brush and small trees right now, but the fencing is still up. I want to use that to dump the old bedding from the chicken coop into so it can break down and age. Right now, it is just in a corner of the yard and the chickens end up spreading it all over, to the point where I can't really shovel it up and use it.

There are a few more projects I want to work on, but all of the above should keep me busy for a while!

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