Thursday, May 9, 2013

Weekly Garden Musings: May 9, 2013

Lately, my gardening happens between graphic design projects. My routine last week consisted of rising early in the morning and putting in several hours of design time until it warmed up a little outside and the morning dew dried. After sending off some proofs, I'd head outside to do some yard work and/or work on the coop. After lunch, I would catch up on email, return phone calls, and work for a few more hours until it was time to prepare dinner. A lot of my heavy design work happened in the evening after dinner. A full day's work doesn't seem like such a grind when broken up this way.

Spring is such a busy time in the yard and garden. The period between the winter snow dissolving and the soil drying out so that it can be worked seems like an eternity. When warmer weather follows, there seem to be so much that needs to be done. Balancing work and outside chores is challenging sometimes. Especially since I work from home and the sunshine calls. Both provide substance for living, but actual financial earnings takes priority. Sure we can eat well, but I can't pay the bills with cucumbers and tomatoes. Thankfully, gardening and seed starting schedules are adaptible and flexible.

Copra Onion

This week the potatoes were planted, peppers potted up, onions transplanted, and the grass had its first full mow. Last fall our walk behind mower died. We purchased a new mower this spring with a bagger, which makes it really easy to gather grass clippings and shredded leaves for the compost bin. The rest of the finished compost was sifted and added to the garden. The larger chunks were layered into the new bin with the newly cut grass and shredded leaves.

Chicken Coop Painted

Coop building accomplishments included several coats of paint, plotting out the run, building a movable tractor, and a lot of time trying to figure out how to build a window frame around a piece of plexiglass and weatherproof the window openings in the coop. The windows of the coop will be screened security with hardware cloth to protect from predators and left open for ventilation during the warm months. The plexiglass window will serve as a storm window and used to close up the widow during severe weather and cold winter. We are still trying to fine-tune the details.

Newly transplanted spinach, kale, and other greens are coming along:

Newly Transplanted Kale, Spinach, and Pack Choi


The garlic is growing:

Garlic Bed

We have had a long period of warm and sunny weather and made every attempt to make the most of it. We can use some rain, the garden beds are very dry. Beginning today and into the weekend it is supposed to be overcast and rainy. After the garden soaks up some water, I will lay out the soaking hoses and mulch the newly planted beds to try to conserve moisture. If this spring is any indication, we may be in for a dry summer.

13 comments:

  1. You are balancing quite a lot of work and doing a good job of it. I totally understand that delicate balancing act, only I have the added complexity of working away from the home so my flexibility is less to juggle the competing needs. I am running a little later with some of my plantings this year, but still well within the appropriate windows of time. Work demands and some travel commitments have made it harder to stay on my normal schedule. Despite that, things are coming along. What has been suffering is my blog actually. It keeps being the last thing on the list of things to do and often does not get gotten to.

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    1. Right now I am feeling close to the sort of life I was hopeful for when I began working from home….busy, productive, and rewarding. I and thankful to be busy with my business and I am learning to be very flexible with my outside goals. Luckily, gardening is very forgiving. Things will catch up.

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  2. Your gardens look great! And I love the red chicken coop. We still need to put siding on ours...but it held up quite well over the winter. All of our ladies did amazing considering we are in Maine, and didn't actually seal up the eaves...but we did put a piece of blue board over the window for insulation :-) We also used the deep litter method, which I think helped keep in some heat. The only things coming up in my yard are garlic and rhubarb right now. I really planned to plant my peas, but it didn't happen, and now it is raining!

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    1. I am glad to know that your chickens did ok over winter. From everything I have read, ventilation is important even in cold weather. Our eaves will be left open for ventilation as well (protected with hardware cloth). We'll have to see how it goes, I guess. I'll evaluate it when the time comes as to how to winterize the coop.

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  3. I hope we don't get a dry summer this year. I want enough rain to grow the crops without watering. It seems the last few years I've watered more than I used to. Love the look of the coop.

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    1. I hope we don't have a dry summer either. We skipped mud season this spring and the beds were very dry last week. I had to keep watering after transplanting. I hope this rain will end that.

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  4. Looks great, and I enjoyed your in and out patterning of work and garden time. I know it's hard to keep up with everything.

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    1. I've been working on my own from home for over a year and I am still adjusting to the freedom it brings.

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  5. I'm sure glad I don't have to juggle a job with gardening. Oh, wait....keeping Mr. Granny happy IS a full time job, LOL!

    That's just the cutest chicken house :-)

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    1. Granny, I get tired just reading about how busy you are :)

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  6. Glad to hear your business is keeping you busy. I know it was a big step. I'm looking forward to more chicken posts. If I had the room that would be my next project :-)

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  7. Great job on the chicken coop. And it's not a bad thing being late getting plants in the ground this year - lots of very cold nights and more in the forecast. Things will settle down and the garden will be less demanding after all the spring chores are done. Then you can take a break from work when you need it and stroll around the garden. Something us commuters can't do.

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  8. The coop is looking good, and so is your garden! Mine is a mess with spring being my busy season and this one is particularly so, unfortunately. It has been cool, but the rain was really needed. I am looking forward to getting back to the garden this weekend.

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