Rain showers began last Thursday and continued on and off through the weekend. As the ground soaked up the much-needed moisture, the landscape changed rapidly from brown to green. Leaves began to unfurl from the trees, the apple blossoms swelled, grass thickened and grew tall, and various foliage emerged all around. Including weeds in the garden.
The potatoes also broke through the soil:
A layer of straw was added both to mulch and to help insulate the newly emerging plants from the 30˚F overnight temperatures that we experienced for several nights earlier this week.
We managed to put up the garden fence between rain showers. Once the garden beds were protected from the dogs, I dodged raindrops and transplanted the rest of the onions and sowed some carrots and lettuce. Over the following rain free days, the remaining garden beds were weeded, layered with compost, and prepared for planting.
Herbs, Yellow Summer Squash, Zucchini, Delicata, and Cucumbers were sowed in soil blocks in the basement seed starting area. These could have been directly seeded in the garden once all danger of frost was past, but I like to give them a head start.
Progress on the coop included framing the window openings, measuring trim, and purchasing hinges and roofing material. The predicted rainy weekend prompted us to raise the roof and apply roofing felt. We left a large overhang of the roofing felt for extra drip protection and covered it with a tarp. During the heaviest periods of rain, very little water ventured in the coop and that was from the open windows and doors. The floor is covered in linoleum, so the water was easily wiped up with a towel.
I also confirmed my chick order with the feed store and purchased chick-starting essentials including food, bedding, feeder, waterer, heat lamp, and bulb:
K built a movable chicken tractor so the chickens can free range safely around the yard and garden. He used 2x3s for the frame and PVC conduit for the arches. It is lightweight and will be easy to move to different places in the yard. It fits over most of the raised garden beds. The tractor will be covered with wire, which should provide safety from daytime predators.
This week begins the big hardening off process for the heat loving seedlings that will be transplanted to the garden around Memorial Day. Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, and other seedlings will be brought outside a little at a time to get used to the sun, wind, less watering, and fluctuations in temperatures.