Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday Gardening

It's Sunday night and the rain is pouring down outside.
We knew this bad weather was approaching so yesterday Harry and I spent some time in the garden.

Our hens have a run we move around our four gardens, to scratch around, in which gives us fertilized soil free from weeds, by the time we are ready to plant our potatoes.
Harry always puts in potatoes first as he double digs the soil down for the crop.
I then plant our other vegetables after the potatoes have been harvested. It means I don't have to do a lot of digging as the ground was dug for the potatoes, forked over when we harvested them, and so I just fork it again or hoe and rake the ground ready for what I plant.

We have four plots of garden for vegetables. One has the hens on, one that has mature or the last of the vegetables we are using, one that has new vegetables in and one with potatoes that we just harvest when we need them. (Pic 1.) The last two plat will be varying in that they may be just starting, fill or nearly empty.
At some time a plot will be just resting until the hens go on it and this allows some weed growth to come through for the hens to eat. (Pic 2.)

Pic 1. far right has last of veges; middle has hen run with their old run at the top and the new rested plot; top (far left) is new garden.
Yesterday we enlarged the hen run as they were getting very muddy in the patch they were in and we are not quite ready to plant the seed spuds. They were quite pleased with roaming around the section while we spent the time re-doing the fence. By this morning they had already started turning the ground with their scratching.
Pic 2. other side of garden - far left plot has last veges; where hens are is plot that was resting
With the promise of spring just around the corner I put in some vegetable seedlings for maturing in mid spring. Unfortunately most of the seedlings I had put in last month had been scratched out or eaten by the hens, when they were flying out of their run, so I had to buy some more rather than restocking with my own.
I put the nesting box scrapings around the seedlings to keep the ground warm as the seedlings establish themselves.
Pic 3. Vegetable garden and the muddy hen run on the far top left
I have some netting that is stretched between two 'half rounds' that I put over seeds when I have planted them out so the birds don't get them so I placed that over the new seedlings to stop the hens getting them if they get out again.
Peas are planted along the pea rack at the top right of pic 3.

I will be sewing seeds for new seedlings later in the week which I keep in the window box in our kitchen.
There is so much satisfaction in growing our own vegetables so we know what goes into them - no insecticides - and being able to harvest them fresh from the garden as we need them.

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