My favourite time of year, aside from the first tomato, and the first cucumber and that feeling when you step outside and the air is warm on your face. Or when you get out of bed and go straight outside without first having to put on 18 more layers of clothes, I love that. It turns out I have a few favourite things but one of them is certainly Spring seed planning.
The days are cold and miserable, I am starting to think Winter may never leave. My plans for the garden are overflowing but I can’t put any of them into action because of the frost and the cold soil temperature. To counteract this sense of stillness I spent a portion of yesterday planning my seeds. I love love love doing this. It is almost as though by planning my planting Spring has permission to come. Once the seeds are in soil Spring is close, even if the weather doesn’t reflect it just yet.
Of course I want to plant all of the varieties of melons, beans, tomatoes, pumpkins etc that I have but I don’t have the space. I also never remember in July that in February I am so sick of watering and tending to so many plants but right now that doesn’t seem possible so it seems like a future me problem. Right now I want to buy so many more plants and have 100 varieties of tomato, 20 of melons, bean bushes for days….
In preparation for this I have spent time digging up grass in part of the yard to increase my growing area. My sister helped with the mattocking, gosh I hate mattocking. I have left it sitting for a couple of months, last weekend I turned all the soil over which I hope will kill the weeds and dug in a heap of my compost. The amount of worms I found while digging through this area thrilled me. I have never had that level of worm presence in my raised garden beds. I may turn the soil again and relocate some of the worms to the veggie garden.
This bonus area will allow me to grow more melons and potatoes than ever before! I am always utterly delighted and suprised when I take compost from the compost bin. It never fails to thrill me that my food scraps and the chicken house bedding turn into dirt! Real, glorious, lively SOIL despite my lack of care!!! This is going to grow some great food 🙂
I am going to go plant the seeds in the green house now. Yes it is too early. Yes I am nuts. Bring on Spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few days ago I watched a tv show called “The Hoarder Next Door” nothing motivates me to clean and declutter like hoarding shows do. They make me want to be a minimalist. So I tackled a portion of the top of my wardrobe that I rarely use (too short…) and I found my bunting!!!
It finally made it to the chicken coop. I feel all chicken coops should have bunting, it really jazzes the place up! This is not as long as I would like but I am too lazy to add any more to it (despite having plentiful supplies of the materials).
The plant pot on the chicken run is where I thought I would grow nasturtiums last year, they were going to gracefully drape over the top and down the side to protect the ladies from the hot afternoon sun. Turns out a black container in the hot Australian sun needs more watering than I give. It did not survive.
This year (last week) I decided to try a different approach and use the surely fertile ground in their yard and try to grow the plant up the side of the run. I am sure I have mentioned that my chickens don’t respect my gardening efforts, ever. So I went to the thrift store and bought an old fruit bowl. I pulled a volunteer nasturtium out of the veggie garden and moved it to its new home. For a whole week now it has survived peck free. My idea is that even if the chickens peck the top bits, the bottom will still survive and they can’t dig it out (this is their most frequent method for killing my plants).
Completely unrelated to chicken coop decor :
My first passionfruit is growing!!!
The first bulbs are almost ready to open, I am so excited! I am itching to start my Spring planting plan. I think I will this weekend 🙂
I decided the pantry needed to be tackled. It is out of control. I have too much stuff in there. I felt the solution to all of my pantry problems would be to get some of the large glass containers out of there. My thoughts were: Maybe I could build something. I could buy some wood and just make what I want.
Then I worked out what I wanted. 12 glass jars out of the pantry, they are 1.8L in size so quite large. 3 Shelves high, 4 jars wide, a set of shelves. I measured the jars, I made a plan. I asked my engineer brother if this would topple over the moment I put all the containers on it. I worried it would be too tall, but I wanted to have ample hand room to grab each jar. He said it should be fine, he didn’t even laugh at my drawings…
Then I saw a pile of wooden pallets free to good home outside a tile factory. Free you say. Free. That is my favourite. Plus it is reusing something that has already served its purpose. Plus then I didn’t have to buy virgin wood. And it was free…
So after a long period of stop start work and massive procrastination I finally finished the shelves. I have no wood working skills so many lessons were learned. Essentially it was free. I had the screws in the shed from my grandfather. The stain was purchased to stain our coffee table.
These aren’t very good photos but I am happy with the results of the shelves.
Sadly it has not helped the pantry problem at all. I don’t understand how this is possible. But it is true. But it is stronger and more stable than I dared hope for. I do try to keep the heavier things at the bottom just to be safe. It has been in use for about 2 weeks now and it hasn’t fallen over, I haven’t got a splinter, it is so much easier to access the jars than when they were in the pantry. All round a success.
My other sister has decided that she would like a set to use as a book shelf for her birthday in August. I don’t think she has a clue how long they took me to make…