We took a bit of a break over the holiday. The focus was on friends and family, and keeping the chickens as warm and healthy as possible through our first winter with them.
Now that the craziness is over it’s time to think about spring. We’ve learned a lot the past 2 years about what kind of vegetables people like to buy and what grows well and what doesn’t in our environment.
One of the biggest challenges we believe we have is a lack of sun. The bushes and trees growing around the beds, more than likely for a wind break, are overgrown and cast a few shadows through the day. I can use this to my advantage with cold weather plants like peas and spinach, but the heat loving plants such as peppers and okra just aren’t growing fast enough.
We’ve decided to expand the planting area and double the number of beds out in the sun. This means we will have to prep the ground by mowing the prairie grass, tilling, and adding more soil to level the ground. Then we have to put up a new fence.
This will also require revamping the irrigation system. We’ve decided if we are going to be making changes we may as well buy the last drip system we’ll ever need to buy. A good drip line can make or break your yield so it’s time to invest in professional irrigation.
Another change we are making is to add weed block fabric on some of the beds to reduce my weed pulling time. About 90% of my time is spent pulling weeds and as you know, we do not use any chemicals. With twice the crops, it’s time to reduce the work.
I’ve mapped out and measured the beds and making a list of materials. That’s how I’ll be spending the next month. Stay tuned.