Saturday, March 31, 2007

Chicken Coop Garden

I finally got around to ordering the massive pile of patio blocks I need to begin the landscaping around the chicken coop. I dug a new garden last summer, only to discover it becomes a swamphole when it rains, since it is a low spot on the property.

My plan is to put a double stack of the patio blocks around the perimeter of the garden and get a dump load of dirt to fill in, with an elevated cedar plank walkway leading to the door. Jake and I need to jack the coop up about a foot, since the flood waters reach up to the floor of the coop, making the girl's bedding wet all spring and just about anytime it rains. I ordered more chicks today as well (again, it's about time! Esp since they won't start laying until fall now), so I need to get the brooder cleaned out, too-- work work, and more work! Gotta love the spring!

I turned the soil today in between rain showers for the patio herb garden: I think in that spot, I'll plant salad greens, cilantro, spinach, oregano, thyme, and a couple basil plants-- maybe a sno pea plant or 2, if I can swing it. Once I can clear out the plants from the butterfly garden (to relocate over into the coop garden), I'll plant beets, roma tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, a bell pepper, some dill, lavender, rosemary, a cuke plant and some green onions. It'll be my "spaghetti and salsa" garden-- fun!

Every year, I toil to get the *huge* back garden plot dug and planted-- it's a whole day, backbreaking affair. And then, I have to water it, pick the bugs off, weed it-- roast, and sweat, and get all muddy-- all to feel guilty that I ultimately let most of the bounty go to rot, as I either lose interest in the garden after all that work, it's too friggin hot when it's time to harvest, or I just don't have the time or ambition to keep up with it. Having a small spot closer to the house will make it more likely I will tend to the plot, and see a better, fresher return for my labors. Well, that's the theory at least.

Anyhoo, I'm hoping all this will come together, so I'm not hauling 150 patio blocks in July: I'd like to get it taken care of while it's still cool outside.

On a happy note, I noticed the flax is sprouting in the prairie-- hooray! I hope at least a few of the 80 gazillion echinacea, galliardia, coreopsis, and rudbeckia seeds I hand picked and broadcast all season begin to sprout. I would be so pleased to have my field of wildflowers... I'll post some photos when the rain stops.

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