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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Tilling

I finally was able to go out into the garden today since it stopped raining for a few days and the wind has dried out the soil. Still have a little to go and then I can set the beds up and begin planting. As you can see I still need to rake out the weeds. The structure in the front is the greenhouse I still need to complete.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Spring Planting

Raimi and I did some more planting today. Last night I cut up the seed potatoes to get them ready to plant soon. They are pictured to the left of the stand. I have a feeling it will be a couple more weeks until that happens. The soil is still too wet to work but at least the temperature has gone up around here. It is still possible to get a hard frost this time of the year so I am still a little cautious.

This year I am planing to cover the potatoes with straw "straw potatoes" after they start growing. I have had better luck in previous years using this technique because it helps to keep the soil moist and prevent scab. In wetter areas it is better to wait until it gets dryer to put the hay on because you might have problems with rotting potatoes and mice. I am also planning to utilize row covers to help prevent the potato bug problem I had last year too and help keep the potatoes warmer before the warm temperature comes.

We got the broccoli and cauliflower planted today. I am so far on schedule with planting this year and hoping to be able to do so. The chard and cabbage is going into the cold frame as soon as cauliflower and broccoli germinate. They have been started them a heated mat without lights right now. I am hoping using the cold frame and row covers will allow me to move the plants more quickly and not get backlogged. I still do not have the greenhouse completed due to the weather. I really need to get it completed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Four Species Added to Kansas Forest Service Conservation Planting List

I was elated when I discovered they added new species to the Kansas Forest Service. I ordered my Osage oranges (hedge or Bois d'Arc) trees to continue the windbreak around the home,gardens and livestock areas. I really wanted to order all of the new species but I knew their would be not way I would be able to care for 144 new trees and shrubs so I went with the Elderberry bundle this year.

I ordered a bundle of 17 and will plant them along the woodlot and windbreak for lower windbreak coverage and food for the wild birds/animals. I think the Persimmon will be next year if still offered but not sure where the plantings will be. The Kansas Forest Service’s Conservation Tree Planting Program offers tree and shrub seedlings, as well as other items for use in conservation plantings and is a great way to add to your farm or property as long as you are able to follow the guidelines for usage. Plantings may function as wildlife habitat, windbreaks, wood lots, timber plantations, or Christmas tree farms, among others but cannot be resold or used for landscaping. They offer a couple of mixed species bundles for making a bird feeding area if you are interested in such an endeavor.

The Tree trail: Persommons