So far this year has sucked for gardening. I had all these elaborate plans to start seeds in doors and be ahead of the game. Have my raised garden bed with a row cover on it, so I could start some cool weather plants sooner than normal. Well, nothing has been going as planned this year. The month of February and March has hit us hard with one issue after another.
I did start some seeds in doors on February 25th, which I don’t think turned out good. I tried to make my own seed starting mix, which was a fail. Learning experience… don’t buy left over compost in a bag that has been sitting at the garden center all fall/winter long out in the elements and expect it to be good. I opened the bag and realized both buy smell and sight it wasn’t good quality. It was water logged, cakey, muddy like consistency and well beyond rotten and growing blue and white fungus all over it. Not too worried about the fungi growing on it, but the smell was horrible. Definitely didn’t smell earthy, it had a mix of dead fish and cow manure smell to it. I went ahead and used it with a mix of coconut coir, perlite, and a basic organic fertilizer. I was originally going to use some of my worm castings that has been accumulating all fall and winter. But, didn’t plan too far ahead. My worms weren’t able to keep up with the amount of food I was feeding them so I had to give them a couple months break. My bad compost makes the seed starting mix rock hard when it is dried out. I will have to experiment some more later on perfecting my seed starting mix.
- Learning experience 1: Don’t buy old compost
- Learning experience 2: Plan a head when using worm castings from bin so you stop feeding on one side so there isn’t any food scraps when you go to harvest castings.
Being almost 7 months pregnant and trying to prep garden beds can be very labor intensive, especially if you have back problems to begin with. I did a soil test on all my garden beds back in January. I knew what I needed to add to my soils a head of time, but didn’t get around to doing it until March. Then planted some cool weather crops on March 11th, that will hopefully be done by the time my hot weather crops need to be rotated in. The hardest part to prepping the garden this year is the fact that weather SUCKED! It literally has been constant rainfall all of March and freezing wet temperatures in February. Being pregnant and working the soil isn’t too bad, you can just put an ice pack on it later. But when you are freezing cold and soaking wet and pregnant then that is just down right miserable. I still have a lot more soil preparation to do. One garden bed down two and half more to go.
Not to mention building our chicken coop. The weather has really put a stall on the progress. The chicks are quickly coming up on 6 weeks and every day that passes and they are still in their tiny baby pool, the more apparent it is they need to get their eviction notice from our garage. They are fighting and picking on each other more each day. Which, I have come up with a couple creative solutions to a few problems we have been having.
So, hopefully this year for gardening will turn around. There is a ticking time bomb inside me that is due to go off June 5th. I want to get as much done, that way I don’t have to worry about to much when I am out of commission end of May beginning of June.
Things that still need to be done…
- Compost bin started
- Finish soil prepping
- Plant planned crops on time
- Beautify chicken coop with chicken friendly plants
- Oh and can’t forget to get my Mason Bees outside!