Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warm and dry in March

Last post I mentioned how we usually warm up and dry out in March. It happened again. We’ve been experiencing summer-like weather for the last few days, and it’s been keeping me busy.

On Sunday I had 50 asparagus crowns to put in the ground. I put lots of compost into the trenches I had already dug and set the asparagus crowns in it. I was able to get them all bedded, and hopefully they’ll be happy.

I also plowed an area for our field corn. It’s not a very big field, but hopefully we can grow enough for corn bread. Last year the crows ate the seed out of the ground and then the raccoons and deer tried to demolish what the crows missed. Hopefully, we’ll do better this year. I’m going to spread a good bit of compost on the soil before it’s time to plant since this particular plot has some poor soil. I actually plowed it a few years ago but didn’t plant anything in it. So, it’s had a bit of a break. I think it previously had tobacco planted in it, as just about every field here has.

Yesterday, I planted the nine cherry bushes that were anxiously waiting to be set in dirt. I put two in front of the house so that we can enjoy their blossoms in the spring. The other seven I set out in a row near the new asparagus rows – they’re on the edge of the orchard. I used the 12” auger on the tractor to dig the holes which was much easier than using a shovel. I dug them deep and put lots of compost in the holes before planting.

Yesterday afternoon I spent working on the manure spreader. I bought the spreader last spring, and the first time I went to use it, the apron chain broke (that’s what walks the material to the back of the spreader). I’ve been needing to fix it, and it’s been waiting patiently. In anticipation of spreading some compost on the gardens, I decided it was time to get it done. I took the chain out, replaced the floor with some new beech boards I had (it had a plywood floor with a few holes).

After buying the necessary hardware and links for the chain, I bolted the floor boards in, repaired the chain, and put it back in. I wasn’t able to try it out until this morning. It seemed to work fine, though. However, on the second load, another link in the chain broke. So, I had to shovel everything out. It occurred to me that at that point, I had shoveled more stuff out of the010 spreader than it had actually spread for me. I replaced the broken link and made a few adjustments, and then it worked fine.

I spread the pile of manure and bedding we cleaned out of the barn last fall – that was the accumulation from the winter before. Most of that I spread with the loader tractor and a grader blade after the manure spreader broke. I used a friend’s field cultivator to rip the material into the dirt and work up the ground. Then, I spread several more loads of compost from another pile on the garden and ripped it in.

I’ve got another garden area to spread compost on and to work up. If we don’t get much of the rain that’s possible tomorrow, I’ll see about doing that later this week.




woohoo dp, the place is really looking good! I'm a bit behind you tho, I still havent even thought about spreading manure and I have a spot needs improved badly too. I havent even pulled the dead weeds around the house yet ;)

small farm girl

That really looks good! A few years ago, I don't think I would ever have said that about manure. LOL

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