Category Archives: Mulch

The Garden Is Planted and Other Farm Happenings

We got some light rain yesterday and there is more in the forecast for tomorrow. Boy is that a good thing. Our garden is planted but we haven’t had much rain so we’ve been watering plants to keep them alive.

On Saturday, May 15 my husband put the pump in the pond so we could begin filling the tanks that we use for irrigation.

It may or may not have been my turn to put the pump in the pond but here’s how that works each year.

My Husband: “It’s your turn to put the pump in the pond.”

Me: “Ok as soon as we have a couple of consecutive days of 80 degree F (26.6 C) weather for the water to warm up I’ll do it.”

My Husband: Puts the pump in the pond when temperatures are still in the 60’s or 70’s F.

OR some Years it goes like this

My Husband: “It’s your turn to put the pump in the pond.”

Me: No honey. Last year was my turn. I know you did it but it’s still your turn this year.

My Husband: Puts the pump in the pond.

I didn’t get any pictures of the planting or the garden as of yet but I’ll tell you what we have planted. Potatoes, onions and cabbage were plated first and are all doing well at this point. Tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, eggplant, melon, cucumbers and basil were planted as seedlings or young plants. Beets, carrots, Swiss chard, green beans, three types of squash, dill, sweet corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, and broom corn were planted as seed. ** My husband brought home a package of okra seed yesterday and we are going to plant some. We have never grown okra before and I have only eaten it a few times but we decided to give it a try.

While it feels good to have the garden planted we realize the work has only just begun.

Now for other farm happenings:

Puppy Playground

This spring we doubled the area that we have fenced in the back field. It’s an area where we have apple trees, our blueberry patch and our strawberry patch. It is now known as the puppy playground. It’s over 52,000 square feet where Ranger can safely run off-leash and sniff ’til his heart’s content.

Prayer Garden

As always the prayer garden is a work in progress.

We decided this year to add mulch to dress it up and for weed control. I started by weeding then edging.

Then we began adding the mulch.

It’s nearly done and I hope to have it finished by this weekend.

Salvia and Thyme

Mean while we have watched the transition from mostly yellow blossoms to lots of purple and some pink blossoms.

Irises
Dianthus
Chives
Lilac

Chicken Coop Construction

We are in the process of building a new home for the chickens. It’s a slow process because it gets worked on in between other things that need to be done. I don’t have any photos yet but as we get further along I’ll share some of the process. Hopefully by the end of June our chickens will be in their new home.

Bees

Our bees arrived as scheduled on May 13. It was a lovely day for hiving bees and my husband had the two new hives set up before noon.

My husband and I agree – it’s nice to have bees on the farm again.

Mowing

It seems like I’ve spent a lot of time mowing grass this spring. According to the mower it’s been over 18 hours. The task has been made easier by this new mower we purchased last month.

Outdoor Décor

When the local greenhouses opened in the beginning of May we stopped by a new one just down the road to purchase flowers for our hanging baskets and porch pots. Their prices were a little higher than the one we usually shop at but we wanted to support this new local business.

They did have a nice selection.

Thanks to my husband’s diligence in taking them inside on the frosty nights and making sure they have enough water each day they are all thriving.

The one above has a volunteer sunflower growing in it. Not sure how it got there but I see it as a gift.

Play Time

It’s not been all work though.

We’ve been blessed to have a couple visits from the grandkids (and their parents).

And we’re looking forward to many more of these.

Thanks for visiting. Do you have a garden planted?

Dressing Things Up

In 2013 when our prayer garden started to take shape it was only about 1/3 of it’s current size. To dress it up that spring I remember buying 8 bags of mulch. It was not enough. I ended up making a second trip for 4 more bags.

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The following year, after we had expanded the prayer garden to nearly it’s current size, buying bags of mulch was just not feasible. My husband took his pickup truck to the local landscape supply and brought me a truckload of mulch. When I had emptied the truck and spread all that mulch in the prayer garden, it wasn’t enough.  He made a second trip and brought back another truckload of mulch so I could finish the job right.

The next year the prayer garden had expanded slightly to it’s current size and since it is a main focal point on the farm dressing it up is important to us. It took three pickup loads of mulch that year to do the job. This was getting to be expensive.

Last year we decided to take a different approach. I had read that often times tree trimming companies will deliver free mulch if they are in the area and need a place to dump it. There is actually a website where you can sign up to have mulch delivered. https://freemulch.abouttrees.com/#!/home  Rather than take our chances with this website, hoping that maybe one of the companies in our area participate, we decided to take a more direct approach. Last May when I saw a crew trimming trees in our community I immediately told my husband. He found where they were working and stopped to talk to them. He asked what they do with the mulch. He was told they usually take it back to their facility and sell it. He told them if they wanted a location near buy to dump a load we would love to have some. He left them with the address to our farm and his phone number. We didn’t really hold much hope that we would be getting mulch from them, but later that day when we arrived at the farm we were pleasantly surprised.

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This mulch was a little crude. It had larger pieces and some whole sticks that apparently passed through the shredder unscathed, but the price was right. I was more than happy to pick out the pieces that didn’t belong as I spread the mulch over the prayer garden. Not only did we have enough to cover the entire prayer garden we were able to use it for some other projects as well.

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We used it to build up a couple of pathways through the woods, and we mulched around our currant and blueberry bushes.

This year we have a different priority. We had an extremely wet winter and that weather pattern has continued on in to spring. I am hesitant to curse the rain as for several weeks last summer it was so dry we were praying for rain. So since we can’t change the weather we have to find a way to deal with it. Our property is old farm land that has not been graded, groomed or manicured, as a result we have high areas and low areas. In wet seasons the some low areas do not drain and become either puddles of standing water or just a mucky mess. We decided we needed to work more on drainage by building up the low areas. We talked about using wood mulch, but since our supply from last year was nearly gone we thought saw dust might be a better option.

We are blessed to have a friend who owns a saw mill in the area and we thought we could get a couple truck loads of sawdust pretty inexpensively. When my husband went to get the first load he found that there was an abundance of saw dust and our friend refused to take any money for it. “Just get it out of here” he told my husband. So my husband shoveled the back of his truck full of sawdust and brought it to the farm.

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We started by dressing up the area around the chicken coop.

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The second truck load was spread in the apiary and a third load we used to build up another muddy area that we use often.

While sawdust might not be as effective as mulch for weed control, it will certainly help build up low areas, absorb water and eventually biodegrade.