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August 23rd, 2017

I’ve never been great at deadheading, it just slips my mind. Annuals aren’t very common in my garden, I find myself mostly focusing on perennials, hardy annuals, and things that reseed easily but don’t become invasive. There are still deadheading chores with this kind of gardening, but it’s generally shearing off the entire plant rather than cutting off spent blossoms. This year I have more annual cutting flowers that I have ever had and I find that the deadheading part is something I haven’t quite figured out how to work into my schedule. The good thing is that when I don’t get around to deadheading I can save seed for some of my favorite varieties.

Deadheading is a great way to build the compost piles. Since I’m currently using them to build up one side of my main edible garden, I’m always looking for sources to make them grow larger and produce more compost. Earlier this week, I deadheaded my cosmos, dahlias, and a few others plants and ended up with a very large tubtrug filled with flowers. It also makes for a pretty compost pile, at least for a day or so.

The other evening, while I was in the garden cutting spent blossoms off the cosmos, I was thinking it might be a good idea to set a schedule. Maybe Sunday evenings are a good time to spend deadheading and cutting things back. This is how I work my fertilization into my system without having to keep track. Generally, I give the plants that need it a liquid kelp feed on the first and the fifteenth of each month. That way I know when it happens and don’t have to try to remember or keep track.

How do you manage your time gardening to keep up with the weekly chores? 

Friday Favorite: Fall Cleanup

October 28th, 2016

I love fall, the cooler temperatures, the colorful leaves, the garden cleanup chores. There’s something soothing and relaxing about cleaning up the garden in fall, none of the harried nature of spring. I guess that’s because you know there aren’t 100 chores still left to do when you finish one. As you check them off the list, they’re finished until next spring when the snow melts.
I love mowing the leaves, mulching the gardens, building the compost piles, clearing out the garden, etc. There’s something wonderful about seeing the earth ready for a rest, I always wonder if the garden looks forward to the winter rest season as much as I do.

What’s your favorite fall cleanup chore?

Spring Chores

March 14th, 2016

Spring is an exciting time to be a gardener, there are seeds or order, tiny seedlings to tend, gardens to plan, and so much more. Then there are all the chores that come with having a garden. Things that sometimes get put off because they’re not as fun as other things. Like picking up sticks, raking leaves, tidying up, picking up pounds and pounds of rocks, and so many more things.
raking leaves
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon raking all the leaf/grass clipping back under the apple trees. I put them there last fall and the chickens kicked them all out this spring. I could have fenced them early, but I know they’re eating bugs and aerating the mulch. Spending a day raking it back under the trees is probably worth it. I also picked up what seemed like hundreds of sticks, dug all the soil out from around the rocks in the back of the house….all back breaking chores, but things that are perfect on these warm spring days before you can dig into the garden and really get going.

What chores did you get done this weekend?

Lighting a Fire

October 28th, 2014

There’s nothing that will light a fire under a gardener like seeing SNOW in the 10 day forecast.  That will turn the slow rhythm of fall cleanup into a frenzy of work, at least it does around here, perhaps I’m the only one.
Fall cleanup 1
Yesterday was spent madly mowing and mulching leaves, planting a few remaining perennials and emptying all the pots of summer annuals. The soil from these containers don’t get composted yet, I’ll put it into a few long planted boxes, add a sprinkling of kelp and mineral mix, then seed cilantro, lettuce a few other herbs for winter harvests.
Fall cleanup 2
It’s looking rather bare outside now, no pots over flowering with blooms. Sometimes in the winter I take the pots and fill them with pine greenery and grapevine stars, I probably won’t get around to doing that this year. There is definitely something therapeutic about cleaning out the containers and all the remains of summer from the garden. It’s a bit like cleaning out the closet, you feel lighter when you’re finished. Now I can spend my winter dreaming about the creative things I can do with containers next year!

Any snow in your forecast yet?

Watering the Pigs

July 26th, 2014

I’ve been wanting to buy a button pig waterer for a while now and just got around to ordering it.  I was hoping to rig it up to a barrel attached to the pig house with a big of spouting collecting water from their roof.  We seem to get just enough rain that I could water the pigs without using electric to pump it of our well and without having to lug it up there in 3 gallon watering cans.
pig waterer (1)
My waterer came yesterday and it screws right into one of the bungs on the barrel I was going to use for the project.  This certainly makes my life easier and should hopefully make the project go much more quickly.  We shall see, we’re hoping to having this up & running sometime this week.

Do you have any time/money saving devices in the works for your gardens/animals? 

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.