Spring Preparations

Gardening
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The melon bed has the large rocks to provide a thermal mass. The rocks absorb the heat from the sun and make it easier to groe melons up North here.

I haven’t done any real interesting projects lately due to the urgent need to improve the soil for the gardens this year and every year to come.  We are focusing right now on cleanup and garden soil.  I have been raking leaves, building compost piles, cutting the logs that are everywhere and building trellises.  It all works out in a nice, organized fashion that you wouldn’t ever recognize, but it works for me.

My kids s would walk up the hill blowing dandelion fuzz last spring.

Here is my system:  I need leaves for mulch and compost.  There are too many branches and logs in the way to be able to rake.  I go through the area and pick up the small sticks and branches.  The rotten stuff goes into whichever hugel bed is the closest.  The good wood, big and small, goes into piles for building trellises, indoor heating and outdoor cooking.  Then, once the area is clear of branches, I rake up all of the leaves and redistribute them among compost piles, garden beds, and hugel piles.  One area provides me with building materials, firewood, cooking wood, hugel materials, compost materials and mulch.

My planted corn field. Bloody butcher corn, good for fresh eating or cornmeal. Also provides shade for the house once the corn grows.

I’m putting up trellises and an arbor for beans, squash, pumpkins, cucmbers, tomatoes and anything else that needs them, using the scraps I have laying around.  One trellis, I converted into a temporary greenhouse.

The trellis for the zuchetta rampicante tromboncino.

I planted tons of seeds in the new beds, planted cover crops, started seedlings in my window, and many other things that I couldn’t possibly list them all.  It has been a really busy spring and I can’t wait to see the results.  I don’t expect a phenomenal garden this year, as it takes time for everything to start working.  It takes 3-5 years for a permaculture garden to start functioning optimally.  Next year will be better than this year, and this year will be better than the year before.

My trellis post collecting ground.

Check out these links!

Raised and Hugel Beds:

Raised beds on the houligan homestead

Deep Green Permaculture

A Return to Simplicity

Homestead Lady

A hugelkulture with 5 kinds of squash, pumpkin, and gourd with a trellis for the smaller varieties. This bed extends another 5 feet or so beyond the trellis.

Compost:

Hot compost on the houligan homestead

Geoff Lawton

Garden Myths- Chop and Drop Composting

Planet Natural

Trellises and arbors:

Trellises on the houligan homestead

Milkwood Farm

Deep Green Permaculture

Cover Crops:

Cover crops on the houligan homestead

Walden Effect

Hobby Farms

Mother Earth News

 

 

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