The strawberries I planted two years ago are starting to produce! Anya picked fourteen ripe strawberries a few days ago, and she found a handful again today.
Harbor Freight had one of their 20% off coupon sales for Fathers Day. We’ve been wanting to buy the 10×12 greenhouse for a while, and 20% off was the perfect opportunity to do so. There’s a site where someone details all of the tweaks they used to enhance the structure — we’ll be making a lot of these enhancements as we build the thing.
One of these days, we’ll have an electric farm truck running … but, until then, a 10×12 greenhouse in its box #FitsInAVolt … at least sufficiently to transport it a short distance home!
We’ve had a lot of trouble with deer eating our veggies — corn, beans, lettuce. All very good deer munchies. We had a little luck playing talk radio all night long, but I think they get used to it pretty quickly. Then eat all your not-quite-ready-to-pick sweet corn. This year, we put in a decoy garden full of deer’s fav foods. There are brassicas, beets, radishes, oats, and rye grains. Scott tilled up a big area where our garden used to be, I raked it out to level the soil, and then I spread a bunch of seeds. We did it in three sections — the north-east quarter was finished first. The south-east quarter and west strip were done second, and the strip in the middle was done last. The first section is coming in quite vigorously. The second section is just starting to come in, and the final strip is pretty much dirt. We’ve been lucky to have a few heavier rains since the seeds were spread, so everything is watered well. This should be really cool. My next adventure is to replace some of the lawn with a wildflower seed mix so we’ve got plenty of bee chow available.
So we’re supposed to get five or six inches of snow tonight, and tomorrow night will get down to 28 degrees or so … which means the hop greenhouse is back! It’s sturdier this time so it’ll handle the snow load. There are two logs on each side, both with a long 2×6 board run across. Shorter 2×4’s were laid across the long boards to provide support for the roof. There are additional boards diagonal from the “roof” to the ground. The whole thing is covered with greenhouse plastic, and 4×4’s (and a few large logs) weigh down the edges.
I’ve also got plastic bags over the blueberries, raspberries, elderberries, baby pawpaws, garlic, and baby black walnuts. There’s a tarp over the part of the deer garden that’s actually sprouted. Hopefully everything fairs well. The hazelnuts aren’t protected — they’ve gotten quite large, but they should have plenty of energy in the root system. The kale isn’t protected either, but it survived the winter already … so that should be fine.
We’re in for a drastic temperature drop this week — 70 degrees one day, 27 the next night. We’ve covered our hops before; but, as the plants spread out, they get harder to cover.
This year, we built a quick (temporary) greenhouse over the entire hop bed. Rebar and longer metal poles are pounded into the ground at an angle, and the 1″ PVC that I had for the low tunnel greenhouse is mounted to the poles. A large sheet of greenhouse plastic covers the entire bed, and a lot of bricks are (hopefully) holding it all in place. This should keep our new hops from freezing.
It’s almost time to start seeds for this year’s garden. I’ve got about two weeks to get some pots ready — we’ll get the peppers, asparagus, celery, and verbana started. There are a few herbs that we can start too — oregano, rosemary, and thyme. I’m not growing any eggplant this year.
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