Friday, April 18, 2008

Spreading compost

Oh, the fun of spring! Husband and I spread our composted manure on Wednesday night. It was 70 degrees in Chicago.
I've also attached a picture of our rain barrels. We were able to maintain our garden and plantings entirely by use of these barrels last year. These two are ganged together. We also have one off of the garage roof that is on a soaker hose for the serviceberry and other new shrubs that we getting established. Note that these are built up off the patio on a platform to use gravity in watering and also allows us to get our watering cans underneath.
We spread all 15 bags of compost. Husband put about 7 in the front parkway. I used the rest on the gardenbed shown above and on the side beds. I was also able to get a mesclun greens mix planted. Hope to be eating fresh, homegrown salads soon. I need to convince Husband to build me a small coldframe to extend my growing season for greens.
Happy Earth Day weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seasonal creek is running

OK, so its more like a drainage ditch. :) But, it sounds like a creek and looks like a creek, so I can call it a creek, right? During the spring thaw and after heavy rains we have a "creek" that runs. It is fed by the runoff of the valley as well as the spring-fed small pond next to the barn. By the way, tThe pond never froze all winter. We hope to dig it out a bit and turn it into a real pond with native wetland plants and maybe some fish?

The previous owner had scraped the barnyard and put the manure in a pile on the side of the barn. During our realtor negotiations when we were purchasing the farm, I had requested that it not be moved and left for us. No problem was the reply. ha! On Saturday, we dug up 15 reusable bags (or previously used the type that mulch or compost come in - the big un's) of that gorgeous, lovely, amazing composted manure and loaded up the trailer. We brought it home to Chicago to amend my vegetable bed and our parkway. We had a major water main repair done last fall and it destroyed our good parkway soil with lots of clay from the deep holes the plumbers had to dig to get to our water meter and vault.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

seedling pics

Slow going. I'm finally seeing some sprouting. No true leaves on anything yet. I'm a little bit worried about a few of my varieties. I've heard that heirloom (non-hybrid) are harder to start/grow. We'll see. Nothing happening at all on the basil front. I'll give it thru the weekend and if they still haven't sprouted, I'll re-do them.

A couple of the tomatoes are up. Brandywine, Green Zebra. And the kale is really rolling along. I think one of the brussel sprouts are also trying to peek thru. I started some herbs and peppers on Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Seed starting

A list of the seeds that I have started so far:

English Thyme (2)
Parsley - Curly (3)
Parsley - Italian Flat (3)
Brussel Sprouts (2)

Tomatoes (all heirloom)
Illini Star (3)
Purple Russian (3)
White Beauty (3). Can't wait to see this one! A white tomato!!!
Yellow Brandywine (3)
Green Zebra (3)
Litchi Tomato (2). A fruity tomato that grows really tall with lots of thorns. Sounds like fun!

Peppers, Basil, Chard, and oh so many others are next on my list.