[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
I haven't updated in a while as my non-gardening life is crazy right now. The garden, on the other hand, is dead, having fallen victim to my housemate's equally busy life. No water equals dessicated plants. We got ONE tomato off of it there at the end...this strange two lobed thing. Neither of us have eaten it. I think perhaps out of guilt.

I remind myself that there is always next year.

The good news is that not watering is something I also subject my lawn to. Cuz really, why water something I can't eat? It's dormant for the most part now, so we only have to mow when it rains. The back yard hasn't been mowed all year...when it got too long I just let the chickens over for a few days, what they didn't nibble down, they flattened in their wanderings.

Speaking of chickens...we've had some casualties. I'm sad to report that a predator, probably a raccoon, took Tarfeather during the night last time I was out of town. Giblet was a victim during the day recently and judging from the poof of feathers and NOTHING else, I'd guess a hawk. Either way, we are down to 8 hens, and have lost our most reliable layer. :( I have a sadness. The ladies are penned now, in two separate pens because I don't consider either of them big enough for all 8 when they are used to having a whole backyard, and I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that what I need is one big pen with two sides. This would allow me to raise new ones in the spring (when things are usually plentiful enough that yard wandering is safe) and still pen them all during lean times of freeze or drought when the predators are hungrier and bold enough to risk entering my yard and the possibility of encountering me or my dog. I could also do what Oma does (a friend's mom who has chickens) and toss down birdseed or pasture seed on one side, water it until it sprouts, then let the chickens into that side...I hear they LOVE that.

If all goes as planned we will soon have our rainwater catchment system not just back up and running but much improved. Also should be getting the sinkhole/patio fixed and the weepholes repaired on the house. We've hired a green contractor out of Austin to do the work. I'll give you a review when he's done. :)

Gryphynshadow will be moving out next month. Her path has shifted, and it's time for her to move on to a venue that better supports her current focus. The plan is for us to still see her a lot, and I hope to have her help with gardening and such, but for now the focus around here will need to shift too. I'll probably be pondering and planning a lot this winter with that in mind. My abilities are different from a "fully functional" person, and I'm only one adult, so things will need to be set up accordingly if I'm going to maintain things.

That's what is going on here....and now you know why I haven't been updating the blog much. :P
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
The next step in our garden installation is to start the front yard conversion.

Of course, it's not like we've finished the previous steps, but simultaneous projects never hurt anybody, right?

We decided we should take advantage of our willing house-guest while we have him, so we are tackling the section of lawn between the driveway and sidewalk as soon as we can get our materials together, which will take about a week. I'm headed out of town next weekend, so I don't know if they will work on it then, but certainly the weekend after we can get a start on it.

This is the smallest section of lawn to deal with, so it seems a good place to start. It has a large shade tree in it, and we will be putting a brick patio into place between the tree and the sidewalk, then installing the walkways and raised beds [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow  planned in the rest of that area. This means, of course, that we need to do something about the lawn.

I Googled "sod removal" and came up with this article. Of the methods available, we'll actually be using two. The physical removal of sod via shovel (for the patio area) and the smother method for the garden/walkway area.

This begs the question of how long it might take for the sod to die, given that the grass is dormant now. I am guessing we can smother it, put the garden beds and walkways over it, and let it do it's decomposing thing under all of that, rather than waiting.

We shall see.

Pics to follow as the project progresses! Wish us luck. :)

[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
And all our energy has been going toward getting ready for that. When we get back, the chicken pen becomes the priority again so we can get our chickens out of LT's yard. ;)

The plants are growing, but we haven't gotten any more produce yet.

We have gotten enough rain I haven't needed to turn the sprinkler system on yet, and we managed to arrange a barter deal with our neighbors to mow our lawn in exchange for baked goods, so that's taken care of until we get the conversion finished.

I expect we'll make some more big steps soon, despite have more kids-in-the-house time during the summer, if only because a deer helped me total my car and so we'll have a check coming in about a month that can fund some more yard changes. Our current plan is to try NOT replacing the car, and see if we can just get gryphynshadow's car running well again and manage as a one car household.

So what's going on in your yards? Anybody got garden or patio plant updates to share? :)

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