The Weekly Digs #232

by Becky

I have a lot to share with you guys but I’m going to wait to share the main thing we’ve been up to next week. So the weekly digs for today are short and sweet. 

Garden Plans

I’m also going to slowly share with you what I have for a garden plan this year. The biggest thing about the garden is there is not just one plan, it is constantly changing so I will share what the garden will look like at the start of spring, the start of summer, and the start of fall.

For this week, here is the spring plan:

  • Rows run south -> north orientation
  • 30 inch wide garden beds, 18 inch pathways

Cover Crops

Planted one garden bed of oats and peas in the high tunnel as a cover crop. The seed was a little bit on the older side so I hope it sprouts! If not, I’ll start over in a week or two. 

Planting raspberries and being ok with not doing it ALL

We also planted some additional raspberries. The varieties are Himbo Top and Joan J. I tested my raspberry soil a couple of months ago and I was surprised that the soil was at optimal levels in almost everything. I definitely need to add more nitrogen this year because my perennial plants have suffered from not enough. 

When I first started to garden at a larger scale, I think I had in my mind that I could get away with fertilizing everything with compost and only a small amount of additional nitrogen like chicken manure.

I was so wrong! The compost did work for a bit but it doesn’t provide sustained nutrition. I think I could eventually get to the point where I can produce all my own nitrogen inputs but at the scale we are at, it is not where I want to focus my time on quite yet. 

So I use the chicken manure, compost, and nitrogen fixing cover crops but I also have been more intentional and deliberate about putting blood meal or a similar organic nitrogen source that I purchase on the plants that need it. 

It’s hard for me to do, because I really want to be entirely self-sufficient with the garden. Yet I’ve come to terms with the reality that I can’t do it all and it’s ok if I buy organic fertilizers for a time instead of coming up with all my own inputs.


Cam got the cows all moved to a new paddock and gave them two of the hay bales we got last week. They were so excited they started to jump around all over the place! 

The new calf is still doing well! 

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GardenLover February 25, 2024 - 6:53 pm

Becky have you ever heard that there is more of a chance of bacteria in chicken manure? I read something about it recently. Also curious about your garden pathways, what do you use and have you ever tried a “living mulch”?

Laurel M. February 26, 2024 - 2:05 am

You’re right, we can’t do it all! Be easy on yourself. The happy cows are fun to watch!

Alisha February 28, 2024 - 3:43 pm

The cows are like me when my Spring bulbs start to push up! Spring is here! Hooray! Hooray!

Chelsea March 1, 2024 - 8:49 am

I’m trying to learn more about cover crops in order to someday have a source of “green manure.” With your cover crops, could I ask what your process is? Like, after it’s grown, when do you cover it, how long do you keep it covered and such. Sorry this is a big question. I guess I should just ask where you learned to do all of that so I can go research it myself! Thanks for all the wisdom you impart to us!!

Becky March 2, 2024 - 3:03 am

I’ve got answers for you! I wrote about cover crops here: If you still have questions after reading it definitely feel free to ask!


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