Friday, May 2, 2014

Early Spring Homesteading

The beginning of May in south central Kansas certainly isn't early spring, but when these pictures were taken, it surely was!

After much contemplation, we decided to plant our 1st garden in the "flower beds" outside our back door where it hopefully will be fairly sheltered from the hot arid Kansas summer wind. First the area had to be cleared of lumber, limestone rocks, empty stock tank, etc. Then Riley tilled and fluffed and lowered and leveled the dirt.

Next, we sprinkled shredded paper from the local recycle center on top. There was a bit of wind to whisk away various slivers. The girls helped shake it out. On themselves first, then spread onto the soil bed.


Lastly, horse manure from our lower pasture was bucketed up by the tractor and spread out. Some of the paper shreds managed to come out from underneath as wind caught it before it was moistened, but overall it appears to be a nice dark improvement to the very sandy soil around our house. 

After Riley accomplished the hard work of preparation, the girls -in turn- helped me plant our almost 400 onions in square foot gardening style. Lots of new variables this year...amending the soil, planting squares vs rows, a new location to garden, a fresh garden spot, new varieties of seeds & plants!

I also poked some purchased cabbage plants in the ground to get going while the evenings are still cool.

A couple years ago at our 'Sawyer house' we planted blackberries to one side of the garden. The new tenants didn't want them,  so we transplanted them to an existing tree row of small trees south of our house. We never did get many berries from them...the best fruit bearing year Riley's peacocks snatched them before they ripened! However, we will still try!

Riley spruced up the neglected small trees surrounding the place. We weren't sure what kinds they are, but after several bloomed, I think we have some Bradford Pears, Red Buds, and maybe Crabapple. This one he's working on is a Mulberry.

It's so nice to be sprucing up the place while enjoying the warmer weather! Some of our visions are indeed coming to fruition!

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