April 23, 2016

Early Spring No Dig Garden Preparation and Expansion

The last two weekends I've been quite busy on the homestead.  I've been raking up all the long dead grass from the front lawn and adding it as another layer to my lasagna, no till garden.  I've also added some soil (that we had dug out of our ditch to with the drainage) as a third layer to the garden.  But I still have a lot of the cardboard to cover up.  I'm proud that so far I haven't spent any money on the garden, the garden plot itself should be close to free.  Some other small things I've done over the last two weekends:

- weeded out the skinny front yard garden so that's it's ready for me to sprinkle wildflower seeds in a week or two
- sprinkled clover/timothy seed mixture over barespots in the backyard.  I'm hoping this might make for some good nibbles for the chickens, or at least a bit of organic matter to help build up the soil.
- transferred a rhubarb plant that was beside the new wood rack to a safer spot in the vegetable garden.  I'm hoping it will do better here.  It was new last year, but some kind of bug kept eating all the leaves as they came out.  I was surprised to see it poking up this spring.
- spread out some more cardboard for the new lasagna garden
- hung up a load of towels and two comforters to dry outside
- finished boiling down the maple syrup.  The sap has stopped running now.

I've called the local garden centers and they say their fruit trees are coming in at the end of April.  I've been busy scouring the internet for cold hardy fruit trees but I haven't decided what type to get yet.  I want to make a wiser choice than I did four years ago.  With both the apple tree and pear tree, only the root stock has lived since the first winter.  Subsequently I've had one apple and that's all, ever.

April 5, 2016

Homestead in Spring

Newspaper Pots
Seed Starting with Recycled Material Pots
I've been doing a lot of planning throughout March for the homestead garden and now it's finally come time to start doing some activities.

The last few mornings it's only been -10 degrees Celsius but it warms up a bit during the day especially if it's sunny outside.  Here's what the family has been doing on the homestead at the start of spring.

We are starting the seeds that need to be started 8 weeks before the last frost.  We planted two kinds of tomatoes, lovage and african marigold so far.  We used as many containers as we could from our recycling and made some containers from newspaper.  We filled two large tote lids and placed these in high up places so that the cat can't get into them.  Once the seeds germinate I'll start moving them into the sunroom.

Sheet Mulching Expands
Vegetable Garden
without Tilling
I'm expanding the garden again this year.  The snow has finally all melted so we were able to lay down a first layer of cardboard.  This layer of cardboard will kill any grass before it starts growing and provide food for the worms.  The next layer will either be leaves or hay which I'm planning to get put down this coming weekend. I weighed down all the sheets with firewood so they wouldn't blow away.