Archive for the ‘Around the Urban Homestead’ Category

Around the Urban Homestead

I had a great week watching all of my baby plants poking up. Lettuce, radish, watermelon, zucchini, spaghetti squash, corn, shelling peas, and 2 of the 5 types of beans have made their entrance.


I’ve also gotten done doing the heavy hauling work for two of my projects, since patio block and mulch were on sale this week. I laid out the patio block where the patio will be for now, it’ll work on killing the grass until I’m ready to grade and sand over thee. I also got mulch spread over all of the paths, using the extra landscaping fabric I packed aside when it was on sale during the front yard mulching project.


It looks like a big mess now with all of the fabric edges flapping in the wind waiting to be tucked under edging, but I’m happy with the way things are coming together. And this approach allows me to spend the rest of the season edging sections as I can…as I’m sure it’ll take a very long time.

Around the Urban Homestead

It’s been a bit quiet here because this is my busiest week of the year. I rushed to get all of the garden beds dug, raked, and staked for planting. I also spent a whole day hauling wood chips converting my front yard into a decorative bed.

I'm now front lawn free!

And Mother’s Day Weekend is when I’ve been planting, so that’s done now too! One of my friends homeschools, so we even made planting day an educational field trip for her.

Planting Day!

She got to hear my lectures about plants, get dirty planting seeds and starts, water from the rain barrel, and learn how the angoras contribute to my little homestead.

Planting day!

I’ve still got some work to do as the decorative edibles for front yard, herbs, and potatoes still need to go in, but it feels good to have all the veggie gardens done.

2011 Garden Plans Unveiled

I’m almost done with my garden plan, so I thought I’d share the picture of what I have. Here’s the full size image if you are interested in reading it.

2011 garden layout

Because the rain held out until this morning, I spent every spare moment yesterday digging. I finished the other half of the existing beds and cleaned out the asparagus and strawberry patches. I also earned myself a bit of a sunburn even though it was only 50 degrees out. The means the only digging left is the new potato bed…and the entire front yard.

Main garden bed

Because of the way tuition payments for summer and fall semesters fall and because I found a more important use for a little chunk of the money, I’m going to put off doing the privacy fence for now. Perhaps in fall. I think that’ll take a lot of the pressure off timewise around here too.

First day outside!

It was almost 50 today and the rain held off, so I had a chance to get outside and play for the first time this year.  I started out by building the two rabbit hutches I got for Christmas.  It was fun watching them adjust to the new cage and it took over an hour for them to figure out what the ramp is for, but they seem ever so happy with their new homes.

new hutch 1

This is a view of one of the hutches. They are really cute, but built with smaller rabbits in mind. The board on the front door was supposed to block off a little nesting area in the top section, but the opening was way too small for my big boys. Instead I put it on the front to block the wind and turn the whole top into a cozy area for them.

new hutch 2

The drop tray pulls out, but you can also lift the roof up for easy access. The extra board against the back wall with a heart latch on it is to close off the bottom area (would be useful if the bottom gets muddy during heavy rains).  I like this pic because you can see Socks poking his head up to keep an eye on me.  He’s quite the character.

new hutch 3

Wide load!!!

new hutch 4

Enjoying the new found freedom. :)

Garden-wise, I started 72 more plants on Wednesday: Celeriac, Cockscomb, Oregano, Marmande Tomato, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Jersey Giant Tomato and nearly all of them are sprouted already. Outdoors, I cleaned out the strawberry bed to find some sprouts out there as well.


And finally, these are the egyptian walking onions I got from a forum friend late in the season last year. I was very glad to see all three made it and have sprouts poking up. I covered them with a bit of mulch for now so the wild rabbits don’t eat them on me.

egyptian walking onions

I am an Urban Homesteader

First gardening update off the year

I started celery 3 weeks ago already and have little seedlings snug under my grow light.  This week it was time to get German Chamomile and St. Johns Wort going.  So far the plant babies are safe in the cheapo greenhouse I set up to protect them from nibbly cats.

The outdoor updates have me a bit bummed though.  Our huge blizzard two weeks ago had some impressive drifting associated with it.  I had 4 and 5 foot snow drifts though the yard.   One side affect of that I hadn’t considered, is that rabbits now had a 6 foot reach.  They chewed my grape vines in half, and ate my poor fruit trees right down to the protectors I had put around them.  The vines can probably snap back, but there’s not much left of the trees.

Now that we are going through a thaw, it’s apparent the weight of all that snow also led to another casualty….one of my coldframes is no longer with us :(

snow damage :(

Scarlet Runner Beans

scarlet runner beans

Realized I forgot to post pictures of the last of the beans, these beauties are my scarlet runners.  I only had a few plants and got one cup of beans from them. With this, my outdoor adventures are done for the year. We’ve already had 3 days of flurries and have been at or below freezing all week. It’s starting to seem like I spend half my time running out un-frozen water to the rabbits. And sadly, we are expecting 6 inches of snow tomorrow :(



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