The Weekly Digs #89

by Becky
Published: Updated:

Coming off of a vacation is never easy. I was going about my week as usual and suddenly I just felt so down. A combination of wet, cold weather has been keeping me inside and it’s compounding my sadness. 

I pre-ordered (they will come in spring) another twenty blueberry bushes and several hundred raspberry plants. It definitely boosted my mood, temporarily at least. Haha! I’ve been trying to find other things to look forward to one of those is my garden. As a result, I took every spare moment I had this week and planned for my 2021 garden. 

Now that our garden is growing in size, the planning is getting much more intense. I’m trying to get everything planned in a really detailed way because once the growing season begins it’s hard for me to remember when to plant and grow more, while I’m in the throws of picking and preserving. 

This is actually what I started while we were on vacation. I haven’t nailed down any more rows on this plan, instead I’m sorting out days to plant crops.

I plan on sharing dates of when I plant everything in my Zone 6 garden coming up in a separate blog post (not on the Weekly Digs). I’ve had many requests for this and I can see why! Planning is so fun but it can be completely overwhelming, especially if you are growing from seed and doing some succession planting. 

Despite my own personal mental struggles this week, we have had some positive things happen! We worked hard (“we” meaning mostly Cameron) finishing putting the cattle fence in. We did an electric fence that is a little more permanent around the exterior of three acres of pasture area. It was made of T-Posts and three strands of polybraid electric wire.

On the inside of the three acres we fenced, we set up some fiberglass stakes in a quarter acre area. We added electric polybraid to that to keep the cows in one smaller paddock. The purpose of doing this is so we can rotate the cows around and not have them overgraze an area. 

Of course rotational grazing is much more effective in the summer when everything is actively growing but we are going to get a good test and dry run of how it’s going to go. 

We had arranged to pick up the cows today (Saturday) so Friday was crunch time for finishing the fence and we got it done. Our very kind friends graciously offered to keep the cows on their land after we bought them (unplanned) in August until we could get the fencing and water set up.

We finally finished that task and were excited to bring the cows up to the land. Cameron arranged for a friend with a trailer to come and help move cows. We are so thankful for these friends because they knew how to handle cows and we were clueless! 

They had cattle panels that they hooked together so they could corral the cows. Then we gave the cows some feed. Our friends recommended the sweet feed but I don’t believe in feeding cows grain, we are doing 100% grass-fed. So I told Cameron we needed to figure out something else.

He found some timothy grass pellets at the store. Since these cows had eaten sweet feed before, all Cameron had to do was shake the bag and they came running into the corral even though it wasn’t what they thought it was 🙂

After they were all corralled, the guys poured out some grass feed in the trailer and the cows reluctantly got in after lots of pushing and turning the cattle panels into a make-shift shoot.

It only took about ten or fifteen minutes and they were all in and loaded! We brought them up, let them out and they were so happy to get out and graze on some open land. 

Right away the bull walked under our one strand of electric we had for the portable fencing. The cows are Dexter breed and small but we didn’t realize quite how small when we set up the fencing. 

We were able to get him back into where he needed to be and added another strand of electric.  It worked for the bull but then the calves kept escaping so we added a third line of electric! 

I think they just need a little more training for the electric. The older cows seemed to respect the fence much better. We’ll check on them again tomorrow! Our entire property is fenced with barbed wire so we aren’t worried about them going too far if they do get out.

House Progress

Our roofing guy ordered the metal, wahoo! And hallelujah, they will be out next week to get started. 

In the Garden

I had to get out and get some vitamin D today after we did the cows so I mulched between garden rows. I always assume I can knock it out in a few hours but instead, after a few hours I was only halfway done and sitting on the grass exhausted and ready for a break. 🙂 


Most of the work is bringing in mulch from outside the fence and it was super heavy today because of all the rain. I did make progress though! Hopefully I’ll finish up the three rows I worked on today next week.

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Cole December 7, 2020 - 1:24 am

Your blog is awesome! I’ve learned so much from your posts. Thanks foe taking the time to post all the great information! I have a question, I am looking for berry plants and was wondering where you ordered yours from?

theseasonalhomestead December 7, 2020 - 9:06 pm

Hi Cole, Thank you! I ordered from a few places because I was looking for specific varieties. Nourse farms is one, I have ordered from them before and been really happy with the quality of the plants I received. I also ordered from Stark Bros. I trust them as well. I ordered a few blueberries and rhubarb from Simmons Plant farm. I have never ordered from them before but the price was unbeatable and they are located within my state. They are very responsive with emails, I wanted to make sure they didn’t ship until later and they got right back to me. I will see how the plants are! I usually just order a few when I first try a new company. I also ordered from Ison’s to get some of the rabbiteye blueberry plants. I’ve never ordered from them either.

Cole December 11, 2020 - 8:21 pm

Thank you! I love stark brothers! They have quality products. I cant wait to read more details about your new cows 😀. Dairy cows are on my future plan for our homestead. I am kind of nervous about their size tho. We tried goats but that was not a good fit for us.

Ashley B. December 13, 2020 - 5:19 am

Hello. I just discovered your youtube channel. I was fascinated by your panty tour. How do you keep the summer heat from drying your crops out? I live in north east Texas and July and August always cooks my garden to a crisp.

theseasonalhomestead December 13, 2020 - 8:44 am

Hey Ashley, there are a few options for intense summer heat.

One is to plant earlier, I’m not sure which zone you are in… I’m guessing 8? You can plant early enough that your crops mature long before the summer heat. I’m in zone 6 and I plant leafy greens mid March.

I’d imagine you would plant your leafy greens in February or around there if you were going for a spring harvest. Summer crops like tomatoes, melons, and peppers should be planted a week or two after your average last frost. A quick google search of “your city + average last frost date” will help you know when that is if you don’t already.

On the flip side you could also plant a ton of stuff (greens and roots like carrots, radishes, etc.) in fall and let it overwinter.

Another option is to plant heat loving crops which mature and can be harvested during the heat of summer, for example, peppers, cowpeas (a great substitute for dried beans), sweet potatoes, and okra.

A third option is to use shade cloth. This can be purchased in different percentages like 30% shade or 50% shade. You lay it over a low tunnel or high tunnel to shade your plants. Don’t lay it directly on the plants. I have a tutorial on my Youtube channel for how to make a low tunnel if you need.

And lastly, a good general tip is to use mulch on the soil. Perhaps you already do but be sure to lay it on thick in the summer. I hope that helps! 🙂

Ashley B. December 13, 2020 - 2:01 pm

Thank you for replying. My grandfather always had a full lush garden when I was growing up. I have planted tomatoes, summer squash, cucumber, peppers of all kinds. All those did very good except the tomatoes. Between bugs and birds they demolish them. I live in the far north east corner of Texas. About 30 miles west of Texarkana. We live on a farm in the middle of a huge pasture and wind is a enemy as well. With pop up storms we get 30 plus mph wind at times and this has blown over crops also. And of course moles and gophers. Have you dealt with these guys? My son is 6 and wants to help me with a garden next year. It has been such a battle with all the elements to keep it up before my husband lost interest in it. We work long hours and makes it hard to keep a big garden up. Hate for this to sound as I’m complaining but I have hope. I’ve debated planter boxes but we have good rich soil here and I feel like I should take advantage of this. Thanks🙂


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