Normally this time of year I have all the garden planted, but the weather has been cold and rainy with a few warm days here and there, so I’ve been planting and sowing seeds when I can. I feel a bit behind, but I think everything will pull through okay before the fall frost.
The page on the left is the plan for the log garden beds. I have stuck with it for the most part, except that my peppers didn’t germinate as much as I hoped, so the bed behind them on the fence was changed up.
Last month we planted some apple trees and blueberry bushes, so I was researching how to keep regular apple trees pruned small to make them manageable. I don’t want a giant trees with so many apples that they are falling to the ground, rotting, and attracting yellow jackets. So I looked up some YouTube videos and took notes on this one. I bought and planted the trees this year (they were about 5 feet tall, and I didn’t cut them way back –like a psychopath), but will watch and learn as I get to know them this season.
I’m not sure if I want to festoon them or just keep them small in their natural shape…
This year I’m going to try my best to keep track of what I planted, when I planted it, and how much I harvested. I have NO IDEA how much produce I grow or how much we need, so I need to start keeping track. This is not something I enjoy, but I think it will be super helpful. I bought a spring scale from Amazon so I can weigh stuff outside as I harvest them.
I’d love to get to a point where we don’t have to buy veggies from the store because we’ve grown and preserved all we need. I have a few pages noting what I planted, where, when, and when the seeds were packed. I’m still very new to starting things from seed, and it’s a big learning curve.
I always think I’ll remember what to do and what not to do, but I don’t. So I’m taking garden notes so next season I’ll be better prepared.
This season’s fail was starting peas (and other cold tolerant crops) indoors. The peas especially did NOT transplant well. Note to self: there is plenty of time for them to grow when direct seeded outside. Here’s a comparison shot. The peas in the back are the transplants. The front ones were direct seeded weeks after the transplants and they’ve far out grown the sickly transplants.
The spinach in front was direct seeded too. The spinach I tried to start indoors all died. But these are doing great and I’ve already harvested 1/4 of a pound of baby spinach from them!
This is the new updated plan for the back East fence. It was all going to be peppers, but since I had a germination problem, I’ve sown other seeds and we’ll see how they do.
The bottom of the page is what the area on the north fence will be planted with. The apple trees are still really small so I think the corn will do fine there –though in the Pacific NW part of Oregon, corn is a hit or miss crop. But since this is “bonus area” I thought I’d try it again. The squirrels are the biggest problem with corn as it matures, but I’ve found putting an old sock over each ear after the silks die back keeps the squirrels out of the ears of corn!
The log beds have been planted too. (These were hastily thrown together this spring with some old partially rotted logs we had on the property, thus they are “rustic.” And probably housing a lot of slugs.) The left bed has a couple of green onions left in it and has been sown with squash and cucumbers. The middle bed has spinach in the back, leeks in the middle and lettuce in the front. The far bed is the herb garden.
Above is a close up of the middle bed. I sowed the seed for all of this bed directly, then thinned and moved the ones that were too close (like the lettuce plants on the right) into a more evenly spaced mess (on the left). I’ll thin and replant the leeks like this when they get bigger.
The herb garden bed has the bigger plants in front (oregano, sage in the center, and thyme) that I moved from another bed. I transplanted basil in the front and the boards in the back are separating the other herbs I planted (some have come up, some haven’t).
Here’s the back half of the big garden. This is a recovery year from the poison compost of last year, so we built up, making mounded beds. I’ve sown beans on the row closest to the grass, broccoli in the next row, cabbages and broccoli in the next, and lettuce and cabbage in the back one. Tomatoes will go in on the next cool, cloudy day. They’ll grow up on the panels that are leaning on the poles. I’ve lost quite a few broccoli starts to shock and to slugs, so I’ve started more to replace those.
This is the Chinese cabbage I was so excited to try. It grew really well until I transplant it and now it’s going to seed. So frustrating! I guess I just need to direct sow all the cold weather crops. I’ll feed these to the chickens and start over. Speaking of the chickens…
Here are the “tiny peeps.” All are healthy and love being outside. In the background is the base and some of the walls from the chicken coop Corey is building from free pallets and wood we’ve gathered around town. We’ll close in the sides, add a door for us and a door into the run (off to the left in this picture. The run is fully enclosed to keep them safe if we’re out of town) and a door for them into the “playland” that we’ll open and close when we’re here.
Last year was our first year with chickens and we got four. One turned into a rooster (rude!) and that left three. We managed to keep them alive and thriving through the year, so we added seven more to make a flock of ten. But, the hard part is integrating the little chickens in with the bigger chickens. I researched the methods and I was bracing myself for the feathers to be flying, then some of my favorite garden/canning YouTubers uploaded their video doing the same thing. I’m so glad I watched it. We introduced them like this, and so far the fighting has been kept to a minimum. Except for the one jerk chicken, Paprika. She was the quiet, sweet introvert chicken, until we got the littles. Now she chases them around and is just generally a jerk. We bring her out, until she gets out of hand then she’s grounded to her room in the run to think about what she’s done. The other two chickens don’t care at all and only get pecky when they littles get too close.
(Look at her eye. She knows she’s been caught.) The Barred Rock chickens are really sweet. They like to follow me around and be picked up. The Bovan Brown Golden Sex-link are pretty calm too. I think we’ll have a nice flock once Paprika calms down.
The raised bed garden on the slope part of our yard is going well. It’s going to be all potatoes this year, with an experiment of sweet potatoes in the front bed after the fall planted spinach goes to seed.
And this is the fall planted garlic. It’s actually looking close to time to harvest. I’ve heard once the lower 3-5 leaves die back, it’s time to pull it. After I harvest them, I’ll have another garden bed to plant something in! Maybe celery, since I forgot to put that in the garden plans this year.
I still have some plants (mostly flowers, peppers, and tomatoes) that need to go into the ground soon. So I best get off here and get to work!