Winter musings on backyard gardening February 20, 2016

It’s February, and time to get the backyard gardening blood rousted and roiling full tile boogie!

backyard gardening - egg shell planter

I’m ready to SPRING!

I must somehow confound my husband into delivering and distributing several loads of chicken poo infused pine shavings over our potato bed.  While we won’t plant the tatties until late March or early April, the time to get that chicken manure compost out in the sunshine and mixed into the soil with a bunch of dried oak leaves is NOW!

backyard gardening


It’s also getting almost too late to diddle with the blackberries and black raspberries.  The blackberries are all in their first year and it’s time for them to be trellised.  We will get a nice little crop from our older berries this year, but we increased our plants from three to 10 last year, so many are new and need my attention.  (Next year’s crop should be impressive!) As for the black raspberries, they also need trellising, but first I’ll need to dig, separate, and pot the suckers from last year so that I can share them with a friend.  They should be giving us their first crop this year, so I’m looking forward to that as well.

backyard gardening with chicken manure compost

I really can’t wait to play in the dirt again!

What else do I dream about when it comes to backyard gardening? I’ll need to clean out the asparagus and mint beds.  In theory, we are supposed to completely re-do the raised beds they’re planted in, since our original style and materials allowed the soil to melt away like butter with the summer rains.  Some soil remains, but not a lot; certainly not enough to keep the asparagus happy at any rate.  The mint is really what’s holding the lot together at this point.  Speaking of which, did you know that spearmint and asparagus make really amazing bed mates?

Then there is my “tree” bed.  Out in the middle of everything.  This is a backyard gardening bed of my own invention, where I poke in peach pits, cherry pits, avocado pits, plum pits, apple pips, nuts, you name it.  If it has a chance in Hades of producing a tree, I’ll stick it in there.  I only check on it once a year because I can’t handle the disappointment of no sprouts.  Not yet, at least.  But when I’m living in my own fruit and nut forest, I may change the way I feel about that.

Our grapes need pruning and some chicken manure compost on them would not go amiss, along with a load of wood chips and a few handfuls of mustard seed.  Better to grow mustard greens than poison ivy, right?  For my backyard gardening, I like to throw down inexpensive brassica (mustards, turnips, kale, rape, and the like) seeds—I put them anywhere that gets weedy, because I would rather suffer them as edibles than nasty things like burr weed and horse thistle.

Additionally there is our special pet chickens’ garden. We have a special chicken salad seed mix, and I’ll definitely throw a few handfuls of green pea seed… and perhaps a bag or two or three of navy beans, pinto beans, and black beans from the grocery store.

Playing Hide and Seek.


My ladies just love the seeds dry… and what they don’t eat dry, sprouts… then what they don’t eat as sprouts, grows!  I’m even thinking of creating an arch with a few cattle panels so that the vining plants will have a trellis to climb.  Maybe we can put branches through the openings for the ladies to perch on.  Wouldn’t that be lovely to see?

These are all just backyard gardening plans to ponder, even though it’s still so cold my toes want a cup of coffee before getting out of bed!

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