I was up early this morning and decide to take the camera for a walk with me up to the barn. It rained overnight with a brief thunderstorm so everything is bright, crisp and new, the dust from the past few days washed away.
I have quite a list to get accomplished today so this stroll was just what I needed to get my to do list organized in my head. I will need to collect the mulch for the potatoes I planted yesterday. The raised hills are just soil to add to the potatoes as they grow. The actual potatoes are in the ditch covered with about 2 inches of dirt. As they grow you need to keep the stems buried in dirt as this is where the potatoes will form and grow. I think before I am done I will need to figure out a way to raise the sides of this bed to hold the dirt in…
I have some hay I have been saving swept up from the barn floor, a bit of tossing to loosen and remove any seeds will make a good mulch once the potatoes have sprouted above the dirt. We decided on Kennebec this year. They are a good local potato with a light skin and are good for baking and general cooking. They also seem to store very well if kept cool in a dark place.
I mentioned last week that I was sprouting potatoes from our storage but for some reason they started to sprout and then dried up. So off to the farm store for sprouting potatoes. We bought only 1 pound since there is not a lot of growing room this year. I never did find any plastic 55 gallon barrels to use so that project will have to hold off until I do find some.
Now to do something about that grass is on my list for today. It sure is ready for a mowing, it grew fast this week. Last fall I took some hay chafe & the contents of the chicken coop and spread it around that area. Worked great, a few bare spots here and there but I think by summers end it will fill in nicely. As long as I keep it mowed so it doesn’t seed grass in the raised beds should not be a problem. I will pull the grass closest to the border and mulch it. Lets see how that plan turns out this year.
I have seen beautiful photos on some of my favorite blogs where their paths are mulch, stone, paving blocks and even wood chips. I think I like the look of green. As long as I have time to keep it under control. I saw one that was stepping stones with thyme planted between them. I think this area will see more foot traffic and the thyme not do so well.
This week’s cold snap didn’t do any good for our garden but the snow peas are a bit taller. I just love the color and texture of their leaves. You can see a bit of frost damage in this photo. Speaking of frost my idea and gamble of putting out the broccoli last week was not a good one. It is now all dead, bitten by the frost.
Yesterday I pulled up the last of our fist batch of lettuce, added some compost and a bit of potting soil I had kicking around,who knows why I have saved it all this time. Today I will reseed lettuce and more radish in this bare spot.
You can see how well the seed mats have worked so far. The front middle in the picture above are the latest planting of radish. Miss Daisy helped me the other day and pulled a good portion of them out so that is why quite a bit are missing. We had another talk about that and I asked her to bring what she pulled up to the chickens since they are not big enough to eat just yet.
We talked about our food ladder and drew pictures about it in the dirt. Stressing the fact that our gardens are to first feed us and what happens when she touches them without help. Then later in the evening I showed her again the parts of our salad that was headed to the chickens and what they didn’t eat to the compost.
A good lesson for the day I think.
Today I plan on sowing more carrots, the last ones I did 2 weeks ago show no sign of growing, it could be that it has been cold. I’ll give that area another week or so.
After my morning chores I picked a few flowers for the kitchen table. Miss Daisy arranged them for me. I actually turned this moment into another learning time for her. We got out the scissors and talked about short and tall and how she might arrange the flowers so you could see each one vs tossing them in and hoping for the best. We do that too sometimes and they are just as pretty. Today we have the last of the tulips and daffodils, bleeding heart (some call this kind “old fashioned bleeding heart”, a few hosta leaves and a yellow flower I can’t think of the name at the moment.
Isn’t that little enamel ware tin the cutest. I has been holding loose tea the past few weeks and I am enjoying it very much. Thank you Cinn for giving it to me.
Speaking of tea, I had also planned on picking some of the Bee Balm and putting it out on our solar drying racks, but it is far to windy today to do that. It’s good to harvest the Bee Balm leaves early in the season before they come down with their yearly black spot. The leaves make a wonderful addition to the herbal tea I make over the summer and drink all winter long. It is also a very pretty flower and good at attracting bees and humming birds.
Cat nip is another herb I grow (try to grow) and dry for tea. This nice looking one will be moved to the flower garden once it has had a chance to bloom. Doing it now would put it into shock I think and it would not bloom. But I can and still do thin it to dry the leaves.
Lastly is my weekly baking. This week is oatmeal bread, brownies and bread crumbs. Have a wonderful day!