No pictures to share today, just wanted to post really quickly about our weekend so far. We got the raised beds half full with compost and dirt from the chicken run (we put all the leaves and kitchen scraps in the chicken run and they are nice enough to turn it all into really good dirt for us!). We picked up a couple bags of peat moss for another layer and I'll also be putting a hay layer in there then the good topsoil from The Natural Gardener should round it out. We still have 2 more beds to build, but feel like we have a good start right now. I also planted Zinnia and Cosmos seeds in what is the current veggie bed. They are coming up nicely! The plan for that area is to turn it into a regular flowerbed. Things that re-seed and that we seed ourselves, but no real perennials, mainly annuals. At some point down the road we'd like to turn that whole area into a deck as it is just off the dining area. So we plan on opening that wall up with glass doors and a then do container gardening on the deck. So with those thoughts we don't want to spend a tremendous amount of money on plants that we'll have to move or rip out anyway. Flowers seem the best option and they'll smell nice too! I'm planting some Datura in there today (seeds of course) and am hoping, with our extended seasons, that I get a bloom or two before the first frost. We'll see!
The drip irrigation in the front is working like a charm. Just a couple things we've tweaked, but the plants look so much happier. I'm still turning it on 1/2 hour a night just so everything stays alive, but it's so much better than the hand watering I was doing everyday and the run-off that was occurring with that. My chartreuse color Zinnias I planted from seed are getting ready to bloom too! Yay!
My pumpkins are not a happy story however. I am down to just a couple good vines after borers and chickens had their way with them (one of the chickens was being defiant and decided to take charge on the thinning detail...*sigh*). I am not hopeful for any pumpkins from them this year, but plan on planting in the spring regardless of what the books say...Hah! I did better with my Spring volunteers than the intentional ones. This year I'm also planting Tatume Squash rather than regular zukes or yellow squash. It is from Mexico and resists the borers. You can harvest it young and eat it like zucchini, or let it mature more for a Winter Squash. I've lost too many squash plants to the borers and am pretty much going to give up on them, except with pumpkins. I just don't have the time to pick off hundreds of eggs a day unfortunately. So Tatume is in our future.
I was able to get skirts sewn up for the girls as well (I'll post pictures later of those). Three apiece! I used the Lazy Day Skirt pattern from Oliver and S. I love their patterns and this one sews up quick and allows for most modifications. Super easy! So now the girls have new skirts and more to come with the amount of 1/2 yard fabric remnants I have! I set up my sewing machine on half the desk/table in the bedroom where J had computer stuff. Yes, I took over and claimed my spot! Finally! It's not ideal, but seriously better than what I was doing, which was getting everything out, set up and then broken down and back into the closet. Didn't make me want to sew much. J was actually happy when all was said and done, so it's a win/win right now.
So that's the news for now. I promise pictures of progress in the next day or so! I'm also sending lots and lots of love to my sister Carol.