Monday, June 15, 2015

What's Growing...Or Not...

There are a lot of things growing here this time of year...

My garden is much smaller this summer, and I'm trying something that I've wanted to for a while  now.  Last fall's leaves were piled thickly on the garden, and I just left them lay without rototilling them in this spring.  They're helping to keep moisture in the soil, and weeds at bay...or at least that's the idea.  Our Amish neighbor brought me a couple of wagon loads of horse manure which was spread on top of the leaves a few weeks ago. I'm hoping the extra layer will not only fertilize my garden, but will also help with weed control.  I've heard this referred to as lasagna gardening.  I'll probably add some grass clippings this summer and more leaves in the fall.  While I'm not following the instructions to a T, I'm using the basic concept.  Tilling the soil dries it out and turns over weed seeds.  It's also more work.  We'll see how it works this summer!

We'll be eating fresh zucchini in just a few days!  Beware, kids!

Jim put in a grape arbor this spring.  The large vine in the foreground is one that we transplanted from a neighbor who didn't want it any more...

I'd say it's quite happy here...

The perennials that I transplanted from my big bed to my small one are finally taking off.

This cone flower is one of my favorites...

The number of round bales is growing too.  Jim baled spring seeded alfalfa on Saturday, adding to the row.  The NS on the bales stands for "new seeding"...

These little twins were born last night in the outside pen.  There's a bull and a heifer, so they'll both go to market later this week.  (when one of the twins is a bull and one a heifer, the heifer is often sterile)...

And as for what's not growing...

My big, old perennial bed is well on it's way into a distant memory.  It's been sprayed, mowed off, and in a week or so a skid loader will pull out the old root balls, level off some fill dirt, and we'll seed grass up to the edge of the shrubs.  I'm eager to have it finished!

It was sad to make the decision to get rid of the big perennial bed, but now that it's gone, I don't miss it!  All that work...and I'm also enjoying the smaller vegetable garden.  I'm finding that I have the energy (both physically and mentally) to take care of my smaller beds much better, now that the work load has diminished!  Hind sight is always 20/20, right?

We could still use some more rain!  Last night we were at the very edge of a thunderstorm that dumped almost an inch of rain just a mile or so south of us.  We got about .10", which settled the dust, but we could sure use more!


  1. i remember last year you posting about how much work those flower beds make for you and the toll it takes on your body, too. glad you decided to alter your plots, then! the lasagna gardening is interesting! i hope it works well! i saw a news headline that pa had some flooding - guessing that's not near you so i hope you can get more rain.

  2. I am curious about the way you have done that bed. I will be interested to see how it works. You know I thought I would miss my large garden. I don't. The smaller one takes so much less time. I can weed it in 10 minutes compared to hours it took me in the big one. So I am with you on the smaller garden.
    Pretty calves. That is too bad, but I know how that goes.

  3. You'll have to keep us posted about how the lasagna method works out.
    When I was young, my Dad did something similar. He liked the method, but decided against using horse manure because the weed seeds, etc. had not broken down by the time the horses food turned into manure. The result was a lot of weeds!
    I can completely understand you enjoying the smaller more manageable garden and perennials. We are so happy with the smaller property that we have here at Mill Hill Meadow :)

    Best of luck with at the auction with the calves.

    Have a nice week.


  4. Goodness, I'd like to send you some rain. My barnyard is a soggy, muddy mess, and I can't get into my garden. I'm so glad you're enjoying the new smaller gardens!

  5. I always learn something new when I read your blog. I never knew that about sterile heifers. So, if the twines were both heifers would they be fertile?
    Funny, I looked at some of my gardens as was thinking about downsizing!

    1. Yes...if both calves are heifers, they are usually fine! Sometimes the mixed sets of twins are ok, but more often than not, they aren't. And as dairy farmers, a heifer that won't get bred can't produce milk, so...

  6. I had a friend who did lasagna gardening and loved it. Produced higher yields. I hope it works for you!

  7. I have done lasagna bed before right on top of the grass. I laid down 7 to 9 thickness of wet newspaper, and piled the layers on top and non of the grass came through.

    I'm a crazy wooman with so many gardens and I love working in the soil but I can see a day when i'll have to downsize or hire a gardner. You are wise woman.

    We had a calf born yesterday morning and another one today. A bull and a heifer.

    I sure hope that you get a good down poor to wet the ground.
    Your silage looks like big white marshmallow. I like how your husband marks the bales.
    Take care,

  8. Alica, my big perennial beds at the old house will soon be a thing of the past, too, I fear... but I'll explain more about that later. I spent an hour in the humidity working in them this morning, barely breaking the surface of the weeding. I have a much smaller one here, and I need to put in some major work on it next week. By the way, we lasagna-gardened for the last five years, you will be so happy... weeds will pull right out!

  9. I wish I could send our rain your way. The gardens look good. The grapes are nice. Twins are always a wonder to me. Glad you are feeling better.

  10. Alicia,

    Glad to hear your energy is renewed and you are enjoying life. Sounds like your garden is doing well and you will have fresh veggies before you know it!

    My garden is growing too, but it will be a while before any veggies are harvested. The only thing that is close is lettuce and cilantro.

    It's crazy how rain fall amounts can vary in a small area.

  11. Lots of growing things there, Alicia. Lasagna gardening sounds like a great idea. The new baby twins are beautiful. Too bad you can't expect them to become part of your herd, but that goes with raising livestock. Wishing you great health and keep on keeping on.


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