In Like a Lamb…

I'm ready for scenes like this one again

I'm ready for scenes like this one again

and leaving scenes like this to memory

and leaving scenes like this to memory

Today, the weather came in like a lamb. Let’s hope it stays and ushers March out the same way.

The weather hasn’t really been cooperative, but it is March 1 and around here, that is suppose to mean that spring is just a few short weeks away. Many people start planting here by April 1.

I’m going to be using half of my friend and neighbor’s garden this year to plant some tomatoes and other veggies. However, I will have to get with them to see exactly when they plan to start planting. Our soil here on the side of the mountain is not good for planting and our friends at the top of the mountain offered part of their huge garden area.

I do know I’m ready to look toward spring and our to-do list that will take us out of the house.

This is a mountain of some of the stuff we need to deal with this spring

This is a mountain of some of the stuff we need to deal with this spring

Dale has already split and stacked some wood to cure for next winter, but there is plenty more to be done and that will be first on his to-do list. Once that wood has dried, it will need to be moved undercover this fall so we are better prepared for heating The Little House next winter.

I’ll be guest blogging today on The Tiny House Blog seeking ideas for simple wood sheds. That will be next on Dale’s to-do list and I will probably get to help with that project.

My spring will be centered around planting the veggies in the neighbors garden, planting the flowers around the party deck and reading up on canning. I have to be prepared when all of those wonderful veggies are ready to pick!
Of course, we are still organizing our stuff. Dale’s spent the past couple of weeks organizing his garage next to the house and finally finished it yesterday. While he still has a lot of goals for the garage, such as finishing it and adding built-ins for an ultimate man cave, it looks awesome now.

We still need to organize the basement in The Belle Writer’s Studio and in the metal storage building.

Any ideas for sturdy, environmentally friendly boxes that seal up well? I would rather not buy plastic, but we’re looking for boxes that seal, are affordable, sturdy and the same size so that they will stack well.

We’re also looking for suggestions on dehumidifiers. We need one for the basement and one for The Little House.

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19 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    Hey Kerri,

    I would like to suggest strawbale gardening. We are in our third year and totally hooked. I grew great looking tomatoes, peppers and pole beans last year. In 2008 I planted cukes and squash and had all I could eat. Last year my peppers were so abundant I canned pepper rings! Take a look on my blog under labels- strawbale. I have the recipe to get the bales started and step by step pics with garden as it progressed. As you can see from last year it was actually pretty small but we had plenty and were able to share with people I work with. Also want to mention, I watered using rain water caught in barrels, as well as condensate from my ac lines. It only takes a gallon of water daily per each plant when first planted, after the plants get up to shade the bales, you can go every other day. I am in zone 8, on the NC coast where our summers can be hot and muggy and our plants never wilted. It was quite amazing. If I can answer any questions for you, shoot me an email. Good luck with which ever way you go!

    • Thanks for this great info, Sandy. I will definitely check out your website!

      • Sandy says:

        Hope you get the chance to drop by and check out the pictures. Every time I look at them, I just shake my head in amazement. It just doesn’t seem right that plants will grow without dirt. But hey it works!

      • Sandy says:

        Oops, wanted to share something else with you. The whole reason we went to this method is because in yrs past we lost our entire crop of tomatoes to the southern wilt(a soil borne virus). Even after relocating our beds 3 yrs in row and still losing our tomatoes we were ready to try a differnt approach. As it so happened I went to buy collards and he showed how he was growing tomatoes in strawbales. I decided right then to give it a try! Since the bales are dirt free you certainly reduce your risk of your plants getting the wilt( although you can still lose plants sowed in contaminated soil). You probably don’t have to worry about this disease in your climate. It is hands down the easiest way we have ever grown tomatoes. Anyway, have fun with what ever approach you take!

  2. Cindyt says:

    I too am a fan of Square Foot Gardening…I am planning to put a 4×8 foot bed in this year to start with here at the new place! (yep, Me and the Boyz ((puppies)) moved last weekend. At our old house I had poor soil, as it was very rocky and not much room! But put in Raised, and tiered beds (due to slope of the land) 2ft wide by 30′ long! it was great! I also, used the Lasagna Method! Check out his site! if land is poor, and you have trouble with digging it is the best idea since sliced bread!!! http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm

    Good Luck gardening…and you just might find you could garden at your own place. Try one or two smallish beds so not a big investment and see if it works.

    BTW, The new little house is awesome here! The Boyz seem to like it and love to walk down by the lake of which they seem to be doing the we need a walk dance right now….sooo we are off for the last walk for the night! Hugs to you! Cindyt

    • kerri says:

      Congratulations on your move, I’m glad you and the boys are enjoying it! 🙂
      Thanks for the tips. I might try a couple of small beds this year and see how they work.

  3. Kim says:

    Keri, I’m a SqFtGardening fan too. It’s a good idea here– the rocks in the soil (if you have any soil amongst your rocks!) make intensive gardening make a lot of sense. I’ve got a 4′ by 16′ garden that can produce an amazing amount of herbs and vegetables.

    The inventor of the method used to recommend that you dig, sift, and amend your garden soil, but now he just recommends low raised beds (6″ or so) and creating your mix to fill in the beds. It costs a bit of money but saves you a ton of time and backaches.

    If you have a pre-prepared garden area on loan, though, GO WITH THAT. That’s the best possible option!

    • kerri says:

      Thanks, Kim! I might try a bed or two here and do the large garden up the road and see which works out best for me.

  4. Alexandra says:

    This winter seems as if it has been incredibly long, doesn’t it? Unfortunately March came in with snow and no electricity on Cape Cod. I am another who cannot wait for spring!

  5. Thanks for the website suggestion, David. I will definitely check that out!

  6. Kathleen Winn says:

    Good luck with the garden Kerri! I envy you. I tried growing vegetables in Prairie Village but the squirrels and rabbits ate everything down to the soil, as soon as it started to grow. I wonder what you do about the critters getting your produce- do you have the garden area fenced? I want to have a big garden when we move to our land, but worry that the deer and rabbits will benefit more than David and I!

    • Yes, our neighbors garden area is fenced. There’s things you can do to keep the critters from getting to the garden. One of the ways is to collect hair clippings from your stylist, put them in a mesh bag and hang them from the fence. The scent of human hair is supposed to keep them away. Of course, you can always have dogs that keep the critters away as well. 🙂

  7. V Schoenwald says:

    Kerri,
    I also do cold frame gardening clear up to Jan. I have make shift cold frames from 6 mil plastic covering my big containers, and for a shock, I planted fall lettuces and spinach, and the spinach made it through our 30+ below cold we had here in Dec Jan of this year. I did not disturb the frames, just covered them with 2 heavy rag blankets for this purpose and a few weeks ago I went out and checked everything and the spinach is starting to grow and come out of its sleep
    How about that! This is a record for me this year.

  8. V Schoenwald says:

    Kerri,
    I do large container gardening and also garden in the large bags of topsoil or Miracle gro bags for large garden produce.
    Where I live in this very small trailer park, I cannot dig at all, with the utilities running under here, so this is how I master gardening. I can move things and have some things where I can cover in case of hail.
    I have gardened this way for 10 years and it has not failed me yet. It is also back friendly as I have a fused spine and cannot bend worth a darn, but with this method, I still can do things and not hurt my spine. Eventually I plan of having the garden up a little off of the ground, as I get a little worse each year with the pain, but I can still garden. This method is very similar to the above gentlemans’s square foot gardening method.

  9. David says:

    You really should take a careful look at Square Foot Gardening (website by the wame name). They use a mix of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss as the growing medium, so your soil is immaterial. There are virtually no weeds, so the labor is greatly reduced. Also, you can tailor your planting to what and when you want to harvest–no more overabundance from long rows that produce far too much of a single thing in a very short time. A simple four-foot row of tomatoes on vine supports, for example, will produce about 100 pounds of tomatoes. Once the raised beds are prepared, after that it’s an average of perhaps 15 minutes a day to care for your garden. These take 1/5 the space and 1/5 the water of a conventional garden, too. Good luck!