For the first time ever, I detail planned the garden. Usually I just start seeds I want, hope it’s enough, and then plant randomly (and sometimes have to move things around, and sometimes don’t have enough of something). This year, though it was a monumental task for me, I planned out every square foot of the garden and started seeds accordingly. It was like doing lots and lots of math, but I’m hopeful it will make it an awesome year!
This is an overview of most of our backyard garden area. We bought two apple trees and planted them (upper right) and 5 new blueberries and moved one small one we had that made it through the 115 degree days last summer (upper left).
Above is the map of my seedlings. I have three 72 cell trays plus individual 12 cell starter trays. I started them all about a month late, which won’t be a big deal for most of them, but I’m a little nervous about the tomatoes and peppers. Hopefully they’ll catch up well.
We also expanded our flock this spring! We tested out 4 chickens last year as we’ve never raised any before. They all survived (but one rudely turned into a rooster and we had to take him out to a farm). We loved having the chickens and love having fresh eggs, so we bought two different breeds that were easier to tell if they are female and they are supposed to be great egg layers.
All of the babies we’ve gotten love Corey. They climb up on his arms and fall asleep.
Peep playtime in the living room. They are so fun to hold because they weigh next to nothing and are so soft you can barely feel them.
Right now they are at Treefell Farms Bed and Breakfast (a huge cardboard box in our garage) as they grow their feathers and make a mess of all their food. As the timeline shows, they won’t be laying eggs till late summer or early fall.
Next up is for Corey and I to build their new coop. We have been collecting free wood pallets from around town and looking up plans to customize our own.
Next in the notebook is more detailed garden plans and plantings.
On the North side of our house are the raised beds. They are still sturdy and solid. This year it will mainly be my potato crop.
Below is the two page spread of the main garden. The page on the left is closest to the raised beds and if you ripped the right page out and moved it to the top (the short side top) of the left page, that’s how it’s laid out in our yard.
Because of the poison incident last year, I mounded all the beds on top of the dirt with old rotted wood, homemade compost, and top soil. So they are all fresh new mini hugelkultur beds. We’ll see how they do, but it can’t be worse than last year.
These are all mounded beds too. With them mounded in this direction, perpendicular to the other beds, I’m hoping to get a less hot side on the north for crops like lettuce, spinach, bok choi, etc.
And these are the brand new “rustic” log beds. (I still have to add color to this page.) We had a BUNCH of old small logs that Corey collected over a decade ago and this past fall and winter, we got almost all of it cut and chopped and in our new woodshed. The logs that were left over we stacked on top of each other and made some rough looking very rustic garden beds. These are to the southeast of the main garden. They are right where we had a big old partially rotted tree that we took out last summer. So we gained a brand new garden space plus some space along the back fence that should be nice and warm with the evening sun shining on it. I ‘m hoping it creates a kind of micro-climate of extra warmth for the heat-loving peppers.
That’s it for the notebook for now. Next update will hopefully have some chicken coop and feeder plans and whatever else I need to learn or remember. I’ll also add a crop yield record to the notebook to keep track of how many pounds of produce we grow. (The goal is 500 lbs, which was a random number, I have no idea how much I have grown in the past!)
How do you guys keep track of garden stuff? Do you take notes or mainly just wing it?