The back porch is finally wrapped in plastic wrap. Nobody really wanted to be outside replacing screens and hanging plastic when it was 40 degrees outside, but we've had a spell of really nice days of late with daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Of course, this warming spell had its days (weeks) of rainy weather too. As much as I wanted the porch enclosed, I didn't want Mel out when it was raining. It was bad enough that I had to get out in it going various medical places.
Now we have a cozy spot to grow in even if the night time temperatures drop near freezing. The great part is that the plastic can be rolled up out of the way during the warmer months to allow cooling breezes in. The plastic will also keep out the blowing rain. I like doing the work once the right way and not having to do it again. Now, it's just putting up the storage racks to hold the seedlings and plants. It has become my 18'x25' greenhouse.
These are excellent seed starting trays. I also use my homemade soil block maker, and paper towel cardboard rolls. The toilet paper rolls are used exclusively for rabbit treats and toys. The cardboard is thinner on toilet paper rolls and won't hold up for 6-12 weeks for growing plants.
As the days grow warmer I find myself getting more excited about the prospect of being in the garden again. My garden time is also my one on one time with God. He shows and teaches me all His wonders in the garden. Even through the weeding, disease management, and pest control, He is constantly showing me something new. I no longer try to eradicate all the pests in my garden. There really is no need. They are happy with their 1/3 and I am happy with the 2/3rds. If a fruit of my labor is a bit bug bitten, do I really care? Nope, it will still taste good. If the plant is healthy enough and produces a good yield, isn't that good enough for a few bugs?
I used to be almost anal about pest control in my garden. God showed me that the best plants will have the most pests. It stands to reason, right? Who honestly wants to eat substandard food? I'll spray my plants with a cayenne, garlic, oil, and soap water solution to hold the insect population to a dull roar. I'll do this a couple times a season. That's it for my organic bug spraying. The rest of the time, I'm picking off caterpillars and larva for the chickens. I won't get every single one. That would almost be impossible, but I don't sweat it either. So long as the bugs don't take over their 1/3 share, I'm content to live with nature.
|2 cups of poo to 1 gal rain water|
To me, I think of plants like children growing up. I did raise five children.
|I consider this babyhood- anytime before flowering|
|When the flowers start budding= teenage/puberty|
|Adulthood= produces fruit|
I'll usually top/side dress the plants with additional rabbit poo when they start to flower and again after the first flush of harvesting. Your plants need food to keep producing great fruit. It takes hard work and energy to keep producing offspring (fruit). You consume a lot of calories when pregnant to grow healthy babies. If you garden like me, I grow several different plantings of seedlings a couple of weeks a part to have a continual harvest over the growing season. It seems like I'm always feeding my plants.
I thought I'd update you on some of my general garden philosophies that I hold dear to my heart as we travel this homesteading path. Hopefully, I can implement it all this coming year.
Y'all have a blessed day.