Though snow can still be seen on the ground things are beginning to happen just beneath the soil top. The birds are singing and bounding from one treetop to the next. The leaf buds can be seen on all of the maple trees and the bees are bringing in some unknown pollen source. All things green are making a grand entrance as we set into the month of showers.
I spent the evening after work prepping seed trays with soil and laying them laden with the prospect of glorious plant life. After setting each seed into its new home I said a little prayer that this years garden would not befall the disaster of last year. Early on when I did not have running water on the property it was hard to keep up on a garden full of edibles along with the landscape plants I was trying desperately to establish for the bees as well as the natural beauty for guests and myself. After water was gained then the moles attacked with a vengeance. They devoured tomato plants from the roots up as well as five varieties of peppers, asparagus, cantaloupe, and all my herbs. After wasting hundreds of dollars last spring I set to a goal of planning a garden that would not befall the same fate.
This year I will finalize fencing in the entire space and install three access gates to protect the garden from the chickens, goats, deer and even the dogs. Then Luke and I plan to create raised beds from sheet metal and wood corner posts. Within those raised beds I will be adding a wicking tube, gravel as well as a chicken wire base to protect the roots from burrowing devils. The soil itself will be layers of cardboard stacked with hot manure and then topped with rabbit and goat manures which are both cold manure and great for topsoil. This is my modified version of lasagna or layer method. I have plenty of compost, rabbit manure, cardboard, and chicken wire for a protected and sustainable raised bed.
One of the other little additions to the garden this year is a tool mailbox that I will place somewhere central to have easily accessible gloves, hori-hori and shears for those moments I am just wondering through to look at things and need to make a snip, pull a weed or pick delights. Homestead tasks become much simpler if you are within arms reach of your tools.
How do you organize and plan for your garden? Do you have months of dreaming during the winter like I do? I would love to see where your gardens currently stand in preparation for the season!