Starting More Seeds & Lemon Balm Transplant

Those 8x5 raised beds sure are coming along nice, thanks to my darling who spent all day Sunday finishing them up. Now all we need to do is order the dirt, and haul in the manure to start mixing.  Maybe if the weather is clear this coming weekend we can get that marked off our check-list! 

My friend Dana had been gifted two Lemon Balm plants, and kindly gave me one of them. After researching about the plant, I learned that they liked being in pots during the summertime, so I figured I'd just plant mine in the greenhouse and hopefully keep it happy there year-round.  I think it likes it's new home. What do you think?  

After checking in on the progress of the beds & transplanting the Lemon Balm, I started another flat of seeds.  A round of lettuces, kale, spinach, and a few others.  By the way, I need to post pictures of how the seedlings are growing inside, under my grow lights. They are looking mighty healthy.  Won't be long before they need to be moved into slightly larger pods and I can start hardening them off into the greenhouse. 

Transplanting, Sunchokes and New Raised Beds

The automatic drip watering system that my darling installed into the greenhouse is working fabulously. Everything is staying nice and warm inside the greenhouse also. It was a good 65' when I walked in there this afternoon. Not to shabby! 

My darling also hooked me up a sweet spot to grow radishes in. Check out the gutter, 10 feet of perfect growing space for radishes galore. 

At the seed swap today, I scored some starts from a neighbor. Got those all transplanted into their own larger containers today.

Sunchokes! This is our first year growing these thanks to a local friend in Manette.  Hopefully these will work well for us and later on, we'll be harvesting plenty of sunchokes. 

He's such a busy bee. This afternoon when all I wanted to do was crawl into bed, snuggle, and watch a movie...he was out building two 8x5 raised beds alongside the greenhouse.  What a good husband I have. 

Onions, Sprouts, Seeds & Bee's

I got the bug to do a canning project tonight...and onions sounded good.   Slightly odd I realize, but one day I'll be glad I did! My darling and I managed to knock out 7 jars of this caramelized onion jam and now I'm pooped. It's been a long day and we've accomplished a lot here at our home.  

While I was on my way out of the kitchen, I snuck a peek in my fridge, and look what I found. My sprouts that are most surely going to get eaten tomorrow....and....

Bees! How many of you have bee's in your fridge right now?

I also took a gander at my seed starting area and things are really starting to happen over there.  A lot of my seeds that have sprouted are now showing the first signs of growing their first real leaves.  Maybe in a couple days we'll be able to get a good picture of them.

Getting the Hugelkulture Ready For Soil

While I was to busy being a wuss because I was cold, my darling was outside building up the hugelkulture bed with the branches from the apple tree, so it would be ready for a delivery of dirt.

Now it's just a waiting game until this weekend when we have a couple loads of garden soil dumped on top. We'll let it settle through a couple rains, and then probably order one more load to top it off before we start planting on it. 

Our First Hugelkulture

My new friend Dana, mentioned she would be making a hugelkulture bed this spring for her garden and when we were debating on how we were going to grow our pumpkins this year, this seemed like the best solution for us.  

What is a hugelkulture bed you may ask? Well it's a type of raised bed, that doesn't require watering or fertilization.  It uses rotted wood, twigs, branches, cardboard, paper trash, and compost to create an above ground "mound".  The bigger the better with these.  We built this one 7 ft x 7 ft., and by the time it's done, it will sit nearly 6-7 feet tall I'm guessing. 

We have so many branches, rounds, and twigs from our fallen apple tree, and this seemed like a much better way to use the wood than hauling it to the dump, chipping or burning it.  

We also had this pile of grass clippings from the last couple of years and it made a great natural compost material to add to our hugelkulture bed. 

My darling hauled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of these rounds from our apple tree down to the backyard...

He laid each round down inside of the bed evenly, creating a nice compact layer of logs. 

 Time for some compost! We have a little compost bin that we've been dumping all sorts of good stuff in for about 3 years.   I'll admit, I wasn't much help with this part. It was too stinky.  My darling managed to do it solo, without even one complaint. 

Yes, that is all the leftover squash I got fed up with last year and had him toss in the compost.  We were so "squashed out" last year. 9 months pregnant, morning sickness = wanted nothing to do with the large amounts of squash we had on our hands. 

Yummy.  ew. 

Lots of potato bugs inside the compost. They seem happy enough here, but wait until they check out their new hugelkulture bed.  They are defiantly "trading up". 

Thousands of worms! These little guys will love their new home, I'm just sure of it!

So now that the logs and rounds have all been laid, my darling shoveled the compost into the new bed.

...then he went to the compost pile where all the grass clippings were and added that on top of everything.

All that's left now, is adding the large branches, and having some garden soil delivered. We'll probably order that and schedule the delivery for this weekend when we'll have the time to complete the project. 

Rodgers Country Nursery

This afternoon we headed out to Rodgers Country Nursery for a class on pruning fruit trees. It was a fun class, even though it was a little damp with the rain.  We had a good time, learned a lot...and picked up some great finds for our own garden!

These are going to be so pretty inside my new walk-way! 

We bought a box of tubes for our new Mason Bees...
along with some attractant for the bee's who may be out "wandering" looking for a new home! 

We purchased 10 new bees, and we've stored them in the fridge for the time being to keep them dormant.

We always get the best Walla Walla Sweet Onion starts from this Nursery, but they aren't in quite yet, so we picked up some Organic Yellow Rock onion sets to get us started. Looks like we'll be going back in a week or so to get our Walla Walla's and some Rhubarb. 

My darling, got himself a new pair of pruners. 

 ...and we picked up 4 new hummingbird feeders...

While putting everything away in the greenhouse, I noticed my darling had been working on the drip system...looks like it is successfully watering my starts and potted plants! 

Planting Garlic in Containers

Who doesn't LOVE Garlic? We can't get enough of it in our house.  Fresh, roasted, canned....mmmmm.  We pretty much sneak garlic into our food whenever possible. 

My darling, and baby Noahh followed me out to the greenhouse to plant some garlic in containers. Noahh probably won't enjoy this garlic to much, but I know her daddy and I sure will! 

These containers are great, because you can fit a lot in them, and they are cheap. 
Almost as cheap as dirt. 
Tonight I just did 3, 5 gallon containers of garlic.  To plant garlic in containers, keep them about 5 inches or so apart and 3 inches deep.   As soon as these start to grow, you can eat the tops of them, but discard the flowers that bloom so all the energy of the plant works on the bulb that's growing under the surface. 

More Seeds are Sprouting

So far, we have a pretty good bunch of seeds that are sprouting up. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Lettuce, Basil, and some Tomatoes!

A New Gate For Our New Fence

Erick built a new large fence to house the greenhouse area in the yard, but it was lacking a gate so we thought we better get on that project this morning. 

He just used a couple of 2x4's, and some metal fencing.

A couple of hinges and a lock from Lowes...

And there ya go! His gate turned out perfect!  Not bad for a 15 minute job.  Now we have a way to keep the wild dog out of the greenhouse area... which is going to be a good thing. 

Re-thinking The Greenhouse Benches...

So after a little digging through our storage, I came up with a great idea. These are the gardening benches we built with leftover lumber and pallets. They were fine, but I think these below turned out even better! 

We had an old wood futon that had been in storage, and once taken apart...
It gave us two long slatted shelves...

And a base for another shelf! Isn't that cool?  We just took the 2x4's that we used on the first benches, and moved them to the base of the futon. Works great I think! 

I'm more than happy with my freebie garden benches and shelves.  

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