Author Topic: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden  (Read 8325 times)

Offline PorcupineKate

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PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« on: May 20, 2015, 08:49:34 PM »
This winter was very cold and we got 5 feet of snow in February.   The snow is 2.5' deep on the top of the swale berms and the swales have up to 5' of snow in them.  My lumpy yard looks very flat with this much snow.
 


It being NH we do have a frost warning tonight.  My seedlings are cozy in the cold frame my husband built me 2 weeks ago.

He has also spent a good deal of time putting up a deer fence around the front yard. 


I planted sunchokes to the right of the birch trees today. 
I am just starting to plant the raised beds.  NH has a short frost free growing season and it is slow going due to a torn rotator cuff. 


This is the fence along the street on the south side of the property.
The plastic is there to kill the grass.  We will be planting a fedge on the right side of the fence next spring.  On the left side of the fence we are planting lots of perennial bulbs and I put a row of comfrey just to the left of the plastic today.


My new favorite garden tool.   The best part is my husband doesn't mind doing all the broadforking for me.  I can't use it till my shoulder heals or gets repaired so he is doing all my heavy lifting for me even in black fly season. My husband  is so good to me.


The grass is getting long and it is much healthier thanks to the swales and chickens.  My husband is working on leveling out all the uneven spots so we eventually can mow it and have less tripping hazards in the yard.   My goal of early morning work outs scything is in direct conflict with my torn rotator cuff.  We may wind up getting geese at some point to be lawn mowers.  I can't shovel anything at this point so we are not getting mulch or compost delivered  (There is only so much I will ask of my husband.)


Part of the big swale berm has potatoes planted in it instead of cover crops.  I have a lot of diakon radish growing from last year's cover crop. I am sure I will find buckwheat as the season progresses.  Of course the chickens are making a mess of the potatoes but they aren't uncovering them yet.  Netting in the swale is on the to do list.

The big swale also has asparagus, chives, daffodils, irises, garlic, shallots, diakon radish, comfrey, cherries, peaches, clover, and plums in it.   More will be planted in the berm in the next couple of weeks.  We did lose the apricot due to the cold winter we had.  I am surprised the peaches were not damaged.


The swale with all the pretty flowers has reseeded itself and everything is starting to come up. 


Here the chickens destroyed most of the strawberries dust bathing here.  They also stirred up a billion lambs quarter seeds.  I need to weed them into a meal and put netting up or I won't get any blueberries.


All the chickens made it through the winter.  Here are a third of them following me around. 


I got my first 2 hives a month ago!  They are fascinating and I am totally hooked on keeping bees. 
 
We will be moving the chicken coop in a week.  It floods during mud season so it is getting moved to a drier part of the yard.  The current run will be turned into a garden bed and I will be planting corn and other goodies there.


Here is where the coop is moving too.  My husband rigged up the rain barrel for me and made a nice cover for the feeder.  He still needs to put a screen and an overflow release on it and then make the second one. 


This is King George.  He takes his job of protecting the girls and bugging me for sunflower seed very seriously.

I am no where near finished planting everything.


Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2015, 09:36:33 PM »
I am assuming there is suppose to be pictures, am I the only one no seeing them?

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2015, 07:22:51 AM »
Hmm.  The photos are on imgur and they are set on public.  Please let me know if you still can't see them.

Offline Cedar

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2015, 07:33:08 AM »
I see the photos.

This is coming along nicely PKate. It looks great.

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Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2015, 09:31:15 AM »
Hmm.  The photos are on imgur and they are set on public.  Please let me know if you still can't see them.
It is probably my internet/companies filters, I couldnt see them at permies either.

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2015, 11:00:48 AM »
I just received my order form Okios Tree Crops.  I picked up 2 of there sweet crab apples and 4 hazel nuts. Next week grapes, seaberry, and black berries arrive from Raintree. 

We have another frost warning for Friday into Saturday.  I had a little damage to the tomatoes I planted earlier this week last night.

Something is nibbling on my kale, cabbage, and cauliflower.  My broccoli seedlings aren't going to make it either.  I guess I will just have to try  a heavy seeding for a fall crop and hope for the best.  i know we have  a bunch of critters living in the garden so I am trying to figure out how to grow enough that I get some too!




Offline Cedar

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2015, 11:15:59 AM »
Something is nibbling on my kale, cabbage, and cauliflower.  My broccoli seedlings aren't going to make it either.

Go out at night with a flashlight or got a trail cam? Is it a big nibblings or small ones?

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Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 08:27:07 PM »
I like the idea of the trail camera.  It is currently mounted to watch the bee hives.  I may need to move it for a few days.

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2015, 08:20:03 AM »
I went to visit family for the long weekend.   We had temps down to 37 degrees and up to 85 degrees.  The temperature swings and the lack of rain fall killed a bunch of my seedlings this weekend.  We normally get almost 4 inches of rain in the month of May.  This month we have gotten 1/2 and inch so far.  I can't even begin to understand what it is like gardening out west these last few years.   I have been so spoiled by New England's wet springs that gardening in a drought is a lot of work. It will easier once we get the second rain barrel set up and mulch on all the beds.  I just wish my should would hurry up and heal!


Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2015, 07:03:17 AM »
We have a gopher problem.  We saw it run from our yard across the street.  It has a nice hole near the neighbors fence.  I am not sure what to do about it yet.  Shooting it here is not an option.   We have houses and roads too close and on all sides. 

Short term we will put up netting around vulnerable beds to slow the various critters down. I have the netting and it worked well last year.  As the season progresses I will be adding chicken wire to the fence. 

We created chicken drama this morning.  Last night we moved 4 of the chickens to the chicken tractor.  The are tasked with prepping the ground on our hill for reseeding.  George our rooster is upset that the girls are locked up and won't stop crowing.  He takes his job of protecting them very seriously.  Several of the other chickens are hanging out on top of the tractor with the caged girls.  I hate to see them upset but I need them to work for me. 

Offline jamendjr

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 10:23:10 AM »
Great updates!

Offline Cedar

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2015, 10:25:59 AM »
We have a gopher problem.  We saw it run from our yard across the street.  It has a nice hole near the neighbors fence.  I am not sure what to do about it yet. 

This, and an upside down 5 gallon bucket
http://www.gemplers.com/product/70086/Victor-Mole-Trap-Scissor-type

Cedar

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2015, 07:36:24 PM »
This, and an upside down 5 gallon bucket
http://www.gemplers.com/product/70086/Victor-Mole-Trap-Scissor-type

Cedar

That thing looks vicious!  Would that work for voles or gophers?

We added some chicken wire to the fence and I haven't seen any further damage from the gopher.  I don't know if I could put a trap like this over the hole.  The hole is across the street in the neighbors yard near their fence.  I will check with them but they have little kids so I would worry about them getting into it.

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2015, 07:48:05 PM »
Over the weekend I found queen cells in my hives.  I hadn't put another box on the hives soon enough and they were feeling crowded.  Today I split the hives and put the frames with filled queen cells in nuk boxes.   I forgot to take pictures.  Hopefully it is early enough in the season that they will survive as a hive and keep the original hives from swarming.   I will keep checking the original hives to make sure they aren't adding and filling new queen cells. 

We are harvesting snap peas and strawberries!  I love going outside and gathering the afternoon snack from the garden.

We let the 4 girls out of the mobile coop.  They were not happy being cooped up and they are much happier running around with the other chickens.  We are using tarps to kill the grass so we can reseed the hill with flowers. 

I still have plants that need to go in the ground and I am hoping to take more photos tomorrow.  We have gotten a lot done but there is still a lot more to do!


Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2015, 11:05:31 AM »
Progress continues.   I still have a lot of plants to get into the ground but I am slowly making progress.


Today my photography assistant followed me around while I was taking these photos.  She did not join me in the front yard garden because my husband finished the fence.


The big swale is surrounded in netting.  The deer were destroying the asparagus bed and eating all the new shoots on the fruit trees. The chickens were also doing too much damage to the berm.  Now the chickens and deer are leaving it alone.


We are letting the grass grow on the hill and mowing around patches of flowers in the rest of the yard for the bees.  The clipping from the mower are being used as mulch for the veggie beds.


Thanks to much needed rain I have a full rain barrel to water the recently plantings with.


The chickens and the bees love this bird bath. 


This one is just for the bees.  I have 3 more planter trays that I picked up at a flea market that I need to set up as bee watering stations. 
 

The coop has been moved!  I will not have a 2 inches of water in the run next spring!


The herb bed is filling in nicely.  I have a few more things to plant in it and I need to finish weeding the grass out if it.

 
Here is a shot of a bunch of perennials in 3 different beds.  I still have a good deal of plants to get in the ground.


Peppers, tomatoes and herbs. 


These are most of my main annual garden beds.  There is one more to the left with onion sets and peas in it.


Here is the onion and pea bed.  I had a mix of greens, peas, carrots, parsnips and turnip seeds in planted here but the crab grass grew first so the peas and onion sets were the only ones to survive the weeding.


Here is a shot from not quite the bottom of the hill.


Peppers, eggplant and tomatillos


pole beans, snap peas, crab grass with carrots and parnips, bush beans, and  assorted brassicas in this bed.


I have planted a lot of peppers this year and I still have more to plant.  I am trying to find a good short season sweet pepper so I am trying a dozen or so varieties. 


My large tomato bed with the herb bed in the background. 


Here is another shot of the annual beds


These will be planted everywhere!


I love having fresh strawberries.  The herb bed is filling in nicely. 


The bees are loving the comfrey. 


Here is the flower bed.  The poppies are just starting to bloom.


I let a lambs quarter go to seed hoping the chickens would like the seeds.  They don't.  They did manage to seed an mulched bed by dust bathing in it.  It will take me weeks to weed this out since the keep popping up.


This is my view from the gate.  I also planted grapes on next to each of the gate posts.


I planted corn seeds in this covered bed. They haven't sprouted yet.  Next year this will better protected location will be the new home of the asparagus bed.


Now that we have deer netting around the big swale I need to create some mulch for the peach tree that the mullen and comfrey have been hiding from the deer.


The deer have worked hard to try and destroy my asparagus bed. 


I am still working on planting the big swale berm.  I added hazelnuts, sea buckthorn, a crab apple, potatoes, sweet potatoes to the fruit trees, buckwheat, irises, daffodils, garlic, shallots, asparagus, comfrey, and fruit trees  I planted last year.
I will be putting my excess celery and pepper seedlings in here.   Sunflowers, nasturtiums and other goodies will find there way in too.

I let my honeybees get crowded and they started producing new queens.  I split the hives yesterday and the growing queen cells are in nuk boxes with some frames to get the new hives going.  Hopefully I can keep the original frames from swarming.  This is my first year keeping bees and I am sure I will make more mistakes but with any luck I will have 4 strong hives  this year.  I didn't take any photos since it was my first time doing this.

Offline jamendjr

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2015, 03:26:11 PM »
Wow, what an update! Its great to see a system of this size getting implemented. I think there are alot of us with "in between" sized properties. We are not broad scale, we are not totally suburban. It seems like thats about what you are working with. I don't remember any property details from last year, could you recap?

I for one love the updates, keep them coming!

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: PorcupineKate's 2015 Garden
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2015, 11:00:47 AM »
Wow, what an update! Its great to see a system of this size getting implemented. I think there are alot of us with "in between" sized properties. We are not broad scale, we are not totally suburban. It seems like thats about what you are working with. I don't remember any property details from last year, could you recap?

I for one love the updates, keep them coming!

The property is 2.5 acres on the eat/south east side of a hill.  The property is L shaped and we haven't done anything to the back half of the property yet. The solar aspect for the front yard is mostly south facing.  The front yard garden is approximately 2/5 of an acre.  We are zoned agricultural and the house is in an area where the properties start to transition from smaller suburban lots to more rural properties.