Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Gardening continues…

April 21, 2010 Comments off

I’ve got 2 varieties of heirloom tomatoes transplanted to the garden.  Delicious Red and Henderson Crimson Cushion.  Planted on raised rows and 2 plants per location.  I will remove the worst looking of each pair in a couple of weeks.

I also have 4 varieties of heirloom pepper transplanted to the garden now.  California Wonder (sweet bell), Jalapeno, Chili, and Pepperoncini.

Planted a small plot of sweet corn last night as well.  Heirloom Golden Bantum.

Decided to try almost all heirloom stuff this year if you couldn’t tell. 🙂

Our neighbor, who has to be 80 something, was also out working the dirt last night.  I went over with my tiller and finished it up for him.  I have some extra plants and seeds so I think I’ll help them out with planting too.

I would post pictures but I’ve been out in the garden until it gets dark after work.  Never really think about bringing the camera.  Besides, its just a bunch of dirt so far.  Not all that pretty.

Categories: Gardening

A good day for planting a garden

April 2, 2010 Comments off

It was another glorious, warm day in central Illinois.  A good day to plant some early crops that should be able to withstand a little frost.  The average last frost date in this area is May 10th so its a good month until I can plant tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, cucumbers, etc.  But, its just the right time to plant potatoes, lettuce, onions, peas and carrots!

So that’s just what I did today.

It was a hard 4 hours of tilling and raking raised rows.  I had tilled twice already and I gave some areas another go to loosen up some clods.  Plus I had to play catch with my 8 year old several times which was fun, but doesn’t get any work done.  So I guess that’s my excuse for not having any pictures.  😉  I’ll try to get some tomorrow but its supposed to rain.

But I did draw up a garden plan using the Gimp image editing app (BTW, its free.  I use it to make birthday party invitations for the kids too.).  Here’s the plan…

(I wish my strawberry patch was actually that full.)

The potatoes where planted similar to the way described in this post on New Life on a Homestead.  The only difference was I created a raised row and cut a furrow a few inches deep.  I then placed the taters in the furrow and covered them with a shallow layer of dirt.  Then I put on a layer of straw.  We’ll see how that goes.  I also planted 4 spuds in a trash can. As they grow I’ll add sawdust or dirt to the barrel.  Hopefully I’ll have a trash can full of taters.

This won’t be my full garden.  This one is about 70×30 but I plan to also till up some of the pasture next door so I can have somewhere to plant my corn, cucumbers, and melons.

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading

I might have a green thumb after all

March 15, 2010 1 comment

I’ve got peppers! 30 heirloom peppers have sprouted and are doing well so far. Adding a little heat under them really helped. I have 20 California Wonder, 8 Jalapeno, and 8 Pepperoncini.

Pepper sprouts

8 Red Chillis are still in the oven. They must take a little longer than the others. I did dig around in the pot and found that one has shot down a root so hopefully they will all come up soon as well. 38 peppers is a lot. I expect to transplant only a few of the best looking plants in late May.

I also have 20 heirloom tomatoes started. 10 of the “Delicious” variety and 10 “Henderson’s Crimson Cushion.”

If we have good weather, we’ll have veggies coming out our ears. I might have to erect a vegetable stand or something.

By the way, the chickens are growing…


Finally, winter is almost over

March 7, 2010 Comments off

This seems to be one of the longest winters on record to me. Perhaps its because I’m looking forward to spring so much; to planting the garden, raising some chickens, and putting up a fence around our new pasture.

I hope its not too early, but I have started some peppers in little peat pots. In a couple more weeks I’ll start tomatoes.

And I finally took the plunge and bought 25 chickens at the local Rural King store. 15 “Production Red” and 10 “Brown Leghorn”.

We’ve already had one fatality from what looked like suffocation. They all huddle up under the heat lamp and trample each other for the warmest spot. The deceased must have gotten stuck.

Now that I have chickens I guess this means I better build a coop — quickly.

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading

I’m ready for spring!

January 15, 2010 Comments off

This winter isn’t even a month old and I’m sick of it. Maybe its because the snow has stuck around too long.

Whatever the cause of my discontent, I am just itching to get started on this year’s to do list. I’m going to get some chickens, so I’ve started designing a chicken coop. I would like to get some cows as well, but before doing that I need to sow some pasture seed in late February. Then I need to put up a fence. And I’m getting an urge to buy some heirloom seeds for the garden already.

I just hope there’s enough money to do all this.

I’ll post my coop design when its finished. Hopefully I can start building it soon. Baby chicks go on sale in March.

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading

Map of the homestead

September 18, 2009 Comments off

I would like to draw a map of my property using some free mapping software.
If anyone is reading this, and you know of said software that is 100% free, please let me know about it by commenting on this post.

It doesn’t need to be pretty. It would be nice to find some software for garden planning/drawing too.

I could write it myself, but that would take too long, and I do that sort of thing all day anyway.


Categories: Gardening, Homesteading

Raised bed update

September 15, 2009 Comments off

I have pretty much finished the raised bed for my strawberries. Like I said in my earlier post, its quite crude.


Its made of some long logs I had cut up from a tree that had fallen on the property. As you can see they are held in place by wooden stakes. I thought about making a mud/clay/straw mixture to cake over the gaps, but this will probably suffice for a season or two.

The bed was filled with a mixture of straw, compost, top soil, and garden soil, plus some of the light gray soil-like-substance our garden is made of. The straw was mainly filler, since I didn’t buy enough of the good soil. It should break down nicely.

I planted 3 different strawberry varieties: wild on the south edge, ginormous in the middle, and ever-bearing on the north side. I don’t care if they mix, I’m sure they will taste fine.

Read more…

Categories: Gardening