The Weekly Digs #197

by Becky

We made a lot of progress on projects this week!

Adding Compost and Weeding

We’ve had a lot of rain the past two days which is not uncommon this time of year.  According to my rain meter it was 3 inches. The garden got very sloshy but we still knocked out a few other things in there too! 

One thing was we added compost to a couple of the rows. It’s an ongoing process that is made a little more difficult by the fact that my garden is huge, haha! My sweet kids helped me to get it shoveled and moved. It was wet and heavy. 

I found I’m still capable of lifting and adding the compost but I hit my limit a lot quicker and often feel it later in the day with some soreness in my lower back especially. Mentally I still want to work hard, but physically my body is not keeping up. I’m trying to still stay active, but not overdo it. 

Today (Saturday), I asked Cam if he could use the tractor to do most of the heavy lifting and get the compost from the pile to the end of the rows. It worked so much better and we were all way less tired. It still needed to be shoveled from the tractor scoop onto the rows but overall wasn’t too bad.

I’m afraid to drive the tractor we currently have because it’s pretty big, manual, and often gets stuck in places since it’s 2 wheel drive. That means I usually need to wait until Saturdays when Cam is home so he drive it.

I decided someday, it would be great to have my own little tractor with a scoop that is not scary to use, much smaller, and has 4 wheel drive so it doesn’t get stuck. For now, the one we have works but a little one is definitely on my wishlist for someday!

We also worked on weeding a couple garden beds to get ready to plant peas. I have about 10 days until I usually plant them, although we’ve had a lot more cool days this year. We have not had the false spring that I hear other areas of the US are having or have had. 

Burning Asparagus Debris

Someone left a comment on one of my Youtube videos that they usually burn their asparagus stalks and I thought it was a great idea. I used to do that, but had forgotten about it! 

The perfect day to get it done was today. The ground was very wet so there was no spreading of flames. And yet the asparagus stalks are much lighter so they had pretty much dried out after our rain yesterday and were easy to burn.

It was one of the easiest to control burns I’ve ever done. And kids all fought over who got to help. Using the flame weeder is a very fun job.

Soil Test Results

First of all, I got my soil test results back and was able to adjust the soil with the needed amendments. The biggest correction in all my gardens has been with ph. The soil here is generally quite acidic. I added some wood ash to correct it since the soil is also low in potassium.

I was glad to see a snapshot of the blueberry soil too, since I’ve tested it before and added sulfur, but hadn’t seen yet how it affected the soil. Overall, it looked pretty good and I added some epsom salt for magnesium. It was my first time ever needing to do that!

Full video with all the details on how I did it is HERE. I also did a blog post with lots of details about my favorite soil test kit HERE.

Garden Shelves

Cam and the kids wrapped up a couple of homestead projects and I’m super happy about it! One was that my shelving for organizing got finished. 

I need to get some better containers to store everything and then I’ll put all the stuff in place.

Chicken Tractor Modification

Another project was we purchased a rollaway nesting box and then got it installed into one of our chicken tractors. The fit was perfect and it looks so good. Cam and the boys got it all installed since building and woodworking isn’t really my thing. I can’t wait to get some clean eggs out of it.

Took off the plastic to make a swing door

While we were at it, I mentioned to Cam as I was cleaning out chicken tractors that I wished they were easier to clean.

All the coops have an access door on the inside of the chicken run part of the tractor. Getting in and out to clean it with a shovel is ok but kind of a pain. 

As usual, Cam made my wish come true and about 30 minutes later had made an access door on the side of the coop that will make it so much easier to clean out. When it’s an easy project like that he just knocks it out! 

Almost done, forgot to take a picture of the finished result!

I could’ve done a mesh floor in the coop area originally but I actually like collecting the manure to use on the garden as a source of nitrogen. So we are sticking with the plywood floor. 

I recorded a lot of this, so it will probably come out in next week’s Youtube video. 

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