Okay, I suppose the Ides of March was actually yesterday but it is what it is…
We have had a string of nothing but dark, wet days. It’s been torture as I’ve been dying to get out into the garden. I took a few days off this week to start the fence around the lasagna beds but the weather was so disagreeable that we opted to do some other things instead. In chick news, we decided that it was as good a time as any to move them out to the shed. Even in the empty spare room they created a huge amount of dust, and even cleaning out the pine shavings every few days there was still always a slight smell in there; it was time to get them out of the house. Honestly, they are all fully feathered, we were waiting for the Silkies to catch up to the big girls and they pretty much have. We won’t be putting them out with the existing flock for a few more weeks; they are still so much smaller and, well, chickens are mean! The Ecoglow brooder heater is doing a good job of giving them a bit of supplemental heat. I put it inside a storage tote turned on its side and it does create a nice warm nook for them. It really is far too small for more than 3 to fit under at this point but at 6 weeks old they really don’t need much (we are in the 40s at night and 50s during the day).
Because this will be our first Spring and Summer on the farm, we are having some worries about where the best place to plant will truly be; light, wind, accessibility, etc. For the time being, we have decided that much of the planting this year will be in containers so we can move them if necessary. We will be putting the plants that need to be checked/harvested daily (tomatoes, peppers, berries) closer to the house while the crops that are pretty low maintenance (corn, potatoes, squash, etc) will go into the lasagna beds at the bottom of the hill. It’s an experiment, we’ll see how it goes. Honestly, I haven’t had a huge amount of success with containers in the past so it will take some dedication on my part to ensure they thrive. I did a faux permaculture technique in the containers adding branches, grass clippings and leaves to the bottom of the containers before adding the dirt so hopefully this will help feed their needs once all that starts breaking down.
The starts are getting big and most seem pretty sturdy and healthy. I had my heart set on getting a fair amount out by the end of April so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for the weather. We’ve found that with the heavy wind out here, things just get battered. We added a cheap greenhouse 2 weeks ago that is feeling the affects of the wind, for sure; but it will be so nice to have it when the starts are ready to go outside. I hope the late Winter has been lovely for you all! Happy garden planning!